Australia vs. Scotland Cricket 2013: Aaron Finch Set to Inflict Pain on England

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 4, 2013

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 03:  Australia batsman Aaron Finch hits a boundary watched by Scotland keeper David Murphy during the One Day International between Scotland and Australia at the Grange on September 3, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

His world-record 156 scored in a Twenty20 fixture against England last week shot Aaron Fitch into the consciousness of the England cricket fan and, following his 148 against Scotland on Tuesday, he is ready to meet England once more.

Australia face their Ashes hosts in a series of five one-day internationals between now and September 16, starting at Headingley on Friday. After a comprehensive Test series defeat, they will be hoping to salvage their tour in the game's shorter format.

Leading the way for Australia will be the in-form Finch, the limited overs specialist who tore England apart at the Rose Bowl—he scored 14 sixes and 11 fours in his splendid innings. Having also battered Scotland on Tuesday, it is fair to say he is in excellent form.

Finch comes with impressive pedigree in the shorter forms of cricket, having been the Player of the Year in the 2012 Big Bash in Australia as well as from his time in the IPL with Delhi Daredevils.

The innings against Scotland was Finch's first century in the 50-over form of the international game, having played seven previous fixtures with a top score of 38. It may have been an unofficial clash with Scotland, but he should now have the belief to go on and really impose himself in the Australian side.

Finch approached his innings in a very different manner to his Twenty20 knock last week, starting slowly and building his score steadily before letting go later in the innings. Indeed, it was only after having brought up his century that he really released the shackles and demonstrated the "Finch hitting" that has become his trademark.

By the end of the innings, having been dismissed just short of 150, Finch had smashed seven sixes over the boundary rope.

Before the game, there had been much fuss over the non-selection of established opener David Warner, and while there is a good chance Warner will return down the line, his exit has handed an opportunity for the likes of Finch to stake their claims for a place in the side.

Both Finch and recent Australia A opening partner Shaun Marsh hit centuries in Edinburgh, which suggests that, at least for now, Warner will not be missed. Both, though, will know that the meaningful tests begin in Southampton later this week.

According to Liam FitzGibbon of WA Today, when asked whether he can take Warner's place at the top of the order, Finch responded:

I hope so. But a five-game series is a long series against England. Hopefully I can get another couple of big scores and we'll see how we go.

I feel really good at the moment. I feel like I'm striking the ball well, like I'm mentally pretty clear and that's a real bonus for me.

If Finch can maintain his form over the coming games, England will face some serious problems. In the space of a few overs, he is capable of changing the course of a game in Australia's favour.

With a new approach to batting at international level and the confidence of his recent scores behind him, Australia will hope that Finch can establish himself at the top of the order.

The World Cup is fast approaching, and he will hope to make himself central to Australia's planning over the coming weeks. A couple of big scores against England and he will be irreplaceable to the Australian cause.