Aussies dump Test baggage for T20 return
STAR batsman Aaron Finch says a refreshed Australia won't be weighed down by their Test series loss to Pakistan when the two sides resume hostilities in the first of three T20s.
Thursday morning's (AEST) clash at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi comes just days after the tourists succumbed to a crushing defeat in the series-deciding second Test.
Finch is one of four players, along with Mitch Marsh, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle, who could back up after playing in the Tests.
Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is also in the squad for the three T20s but is highly unlikely to play any part as he nurses a tight hamstring.
The group will have spent almost six weeks in the UAE by the time they return to Australia.
"There's nine fresh guys that have come into our squad from the Test series so there'll be no baggage from then whatsoever," Finch said.
"I'm the only batsman out of the top handful that was here for the Test series so I think in that regard, they're just going to come in and play their natural game."
Finch said Australia was yet to settle on their XI for the opening T20 after Marsh, Lyon, Starc and Siddle all sat out Monday's warm-up match against the UAE.
Master blaster Chris Lynn looms as a big potential inclusion after recovering from his latest shoulder injury sustained in New Zealand in February.
Lynn and opener D'Arcy Short, who has also battled shoulder issues, were wearing fluoro orange vests during fielding drills at Australia's training session on Tuesday night but both have been declared fit for the game.
"Obviously being injured for quite a while, it's always a bit uncertain with Chris in the field whether he's diving and stuff like that," Finch said.
"But from all reports he's 100 per cent. He says he's feeling great at the moment and it's great to have him back."
Pakistan was knocked out by Australia in the group stages of the 2016 World T20 but their record since stands at an imposing 23-4.
Nine of those wins were against a weakened West Indies while others came against Scotland, Zimbabwe and the World XI.
It is nonetheless a formidable run for a team boasting genuine T20 superstars in batsmen Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman and legspinner Shadab Khan.
"They've played some really good cricket over the last two years in this format," Finch said.
"They're all world-class players. They're No.1 in the world for a reason and no doubt they go in with the favourite tag. There'll be a bit more pressure on them than there will be on us."