The Chronicle

Huge Cup boost as Finch in recovery


AUSTRALIAN captain Aaron Finch has taken a major step in his T20 World Cup preparatio­n after knee surgery.

With the preparatio­ns of several squad members hit by a lack of cricket in Australia and the Indian Premier League, Finch has hit the nets in Victoria and is on the path to recovery in time for Australia’s tournament opener on October 23.

Finch had to leave the white-ball tour of the West Indies in July after injuring his knee, which required surgery.

His return to play just three weeks out from Australia’s World Cup opener against South Africa is a positive sign for a team that needs some good news.

After David Warner was dropped by his IPL team, Steve Smith finally got the call-up for the Ricky Ponting-coached Delhi Capitals and scored a gamehigh 39 in a losing side on Tuesday night.

Smith’s 39 came from 34 balls after he was thrown in as opener for Delhi when Prithvi Shaw was ruled out through injury.

Both Smith and Warner, who is unlikely to play again this IPL season, missed the white-ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh to use the IPL as their World Cup warm-up.

Neither had played cricket since April before heading to the United Arab Emirates for the tournament. Smith was also recovering from a shoulder injury.

Other Australian T20 World Cup squad members Glen Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood have been having plenty of IPL game time, but Marcus Stoinis is still overcoming a knee injury.

Finch (pictured) has been able to work out with his Victorian teammates, who are yet to play a game this season as border restrictio­ns continue to have a huge impact on the domestic season. The Australian­s plan to have two warmup matches before the World Cup opener on October 23.

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