Injury concerns for Australia ahead of crucial tie against Afghanistan

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch walks back to the pavilion after getting out against Ireland. File photo: AFP/Patrick Hamilton

Adelaide: Defending champions Australia are grappling with injury concerns to three key players, including captain Aaron Finch who is uncertain to lead the side in their crucial T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan on Friday.

Finch, Tim David and Marcus Stoinis suffered hamstring injuries during Australia's 42-run win over Ireland at Brisbane on Monday.

Finch batted for all but 19 balls of Australia's innings for his 63 and then took the field for the Irish innings, before coming off in discomfort after a sprint. While all-rounders David and Stoinis did not take the field during Ireland's innings.

Finch underwent a fitness test here on Wednesday, doing a series of run-throughs and stretches of his hamstring, watched by team fitness staff and selection chair George Bailey.

The 35-year-old Finch has a history of hamstring injuries.

"Little hammy twinge I think," Finch said after the win on Monday.

If Finch is ruled out of the game, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will captain Australia against Afghanistan. Wade had carried out captaincy duties after Finch came off the field against Ireland.

Young all-rounder Cameron Green could replace Finch as opener if the captain is ruled out.

Green, who was a late inclusion to the squad in place an injured Josh Inglis, had centre wicket practice at Karen Rolton Oval, hitting a series of massive sixes in the background.

Australia need to beat Afghanistan on Friday to have a shot at qualifying for the semifinals.

The all-important net run rate (NRR), that could decide whether they qualify for the semifinals, lifted to -0.304 after the win against Ireland, but is still below New Zealand (2.233) and England (0.239).

All the three teams are currently on five points after four matches.

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