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Finch’s return to form buys selectors time, but tough calls beckon

The heat is off Aaron Finch after his return to form but the need to manage the exits of Australia’s ageing white-ball stars to avoid a mass exodus remains heading into one of the most important periods for the side.

As a selector in the 1990s and 2000s, Trevor Hohns made some ruthless calls on several Australian legends, including the Waugh twins and Ian Healy, and his panel faces similarly tough decisions on current stars with three World Cups on the line in the next two years.

If the 2019 tournament came a year too soon for his team, as coach Justin Langer has lamented, then the 2023 edition will test the staying power of the current side.

Warner and Finch will both turn 37 during the event, Glenn Maxwell will be 35, Steve Smith 34 and Mitchell Starc 33. All are integral players in Australia’s limited-overs set-up but, as Finch can attest, two years is a long time in international cricket.

In that time, the Victorian has emerged from a form slump to enjoy two of his best years on the world stage before plunging into another lean run which he appears to be climbing out of.

Ideally, the futures of senior players are decided in the first two years of the four-year World Cup cycle but with two Twenty20 titles also up for grabs there is extra complexity.

David Warner and Aaron Finch have both set the 2023 World Cup as potential swansongs from the white-ball game.

David Warner and Aaron Finch have both set the 2023 World Cup as potential swansongs from the white-ball game.Credit:Getty

Captain Finch and Warner have both set their sights on the 2023 showpiece as a potential swansong from the 50-over game. Warner indicated this week there are others who have suggested privately they too may pull up stumps on their white-ball careers.

“I won’t go past that [2023], I can tell you that much,” Finch said.

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