BIRMINGHAM: Australia captain Aaron Finch insisted Glenn Maxwell’s absence from a net session on the eve of the World Cup semi-final against England didn’t necessarily mean he would miss Thursday’s clash.
Maxwell has struggled to hit peak form during the World Cup and there have been growing rumours he could be dropped for the Edgbaston semi-final.
Maxwell, who has scored just 155 runs in nine innings, did not take part in Australia’s optional training session in Birmingham on Wednesday.
That increased the talk that Matthew Wade, called into the holders’ squad this week to replace the injured Usman Khawaja, could be handed an immediate place in the starting line-up.
But Finch was keen to play down any suggestions that the usually big-hitting Maxwell could be axed.
“It’s a purely optional training session. You’re reading a bit too much into it,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“Maxi is someone who 50 percent of the time comes down to optional sessions. Most of the bowlers aren’t here, Davey (Warner) isn’t here. We’ll name our side tomorrow at the toss, as usual.”
Pressed on his team-mates’ struggles, Finch was adamant Maxwell remained a key player for Australia and backed the all-rounder to come good.
“There’s runs around the corner. He’d like to have scored more but he’s hitting the ball nicely. We know how destructive he can be when he’s in,” he said.
“His contributions in the field are up there with most runs saved and he got a great run out at Taunton against Pakistan. And the overs he’s bowled have been really, really key overs for us too.
“What he brings to the game is a still very exciting package.”
With Maxwell’s place up in the air, Finch revealed he will take his mind off the cricket by watching animated children’s film ‘The Queen’s Corgi’ on the night before the match.
Finch will be all business once the semi-final gets underway however, with Australia chasing an eighth World Cup final appearance.
Australia are bidding for a sixth World Cup title after winning four of the last five editions.
Asked why Australia thrive more than other teams under pressure, Finch said: “World Cups are very special and they bring out the best in players. That’s why Australia have a very rich history in World Cups.
“Winning four of the last five (World Cups) is a great achievement. We’re full of confidence going into this game, but England have been front runners in one-day cricket for the last four years.
“It will come down to whoever holds their nerve and whoever holds their half-chances.”