‘Huge error’: Finch’s non-review blasted
UNDER-siege Australian opener Aaron Finch has been slammed for his decision not to use the DRS after being given out on day four of the first Test against India.
Requiring 323 to go one up in the opening Border-Gavaskar Test, Finch was given out by umpire Nigel Llong caught off Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin for 11 to leave Australia 1-28 at tea.
Finch immediately walked up to the non-striker's end to talk with his opening partner Marcus Harris, but quickly chose not to review the decision.
He should have.
Replays suggested the ball missed the bat and glove and lobbed up off his chest after hitting his front pad and neither hawke eye or snicko revealed anything.
Former Australian leg-spinner Kerry O'Keeffe called Finch's decision not to review the decision as naïve and said it left the home side in a perilous position.
"It's a huge strategic error," O'Keeffe said in his analysis for Fox Sports alongside Isa Guha.
"He's a key, he's the right-hander against Ashwin, (Peter) Handscomb's the other. He'll own the left-handers Ravi Ashwin.
"Finch was absolutely pivotal if Australia was to drive towards this 300, he had to be there, even if he had burnt the review I wouldn't have cared. But to accept a wrong decision, it's just the height of naivety. I cannot believe it from an Australian point of view.
"He obviously heard something, but it was pad roll. He might have thought it slightly kissed my glove, but the replays would have cleared him. "
Finch's decision not to review the decision came after he reviewed Ishant Shama first ball of the second innings, after he was given out lbw. Ultimately, he was saved after replays revealed the opening bowler overstepped the mark.
While the DRS came to the rescue of the Indians countless times throughout the Test, it's not the first time Finch has paid the price recently for failing to use the technology.
The hard-hitting opener chose not to review an lbw decision in the first home one day match of the season against Perth on November 4, after he was given out for five.
"Well, if you're Aaron Finch's defence attorney and he's innocent, you know he's going to plead guilty because he's missed the ball," OKeeffe said.
"He did it earlier in a one dayer as the boys mentioned, but I think he wanted to go upstairs, Marcus Harris didn't give him anything, and he's walked.
"It's a test of character but it's naïve because he didn't feel anything on his gloves, yet he heard the noise which was his pad roll and he's accepted the decision. He'd still be batting, Australia would be none-for and reasonably placed given the circumstances."
O'Keeffe added that Australia needed to improve their defensive methods against Ashwin.
"The forward defences are going to be challenged by Ravi Ashwin," the former Australian leg-spinner said.
"That's been the Australian problem on turning decks for some time now. Again, it's the forward defence and the hands are a little low - admittedly it bounced - but it's missed the bat, missed the gloves, the Indians of course have heard the noise and gone up and Nigel Long has given him out."
After a solid start to his Test career against Pakistan in the UAE, where his lowest score was 31 from four knocks, Finch's place at the top of the order has been questioned recently.
Despite a long-term opener in the shorter formats of the game, his state side Victoria is adamant his best place in the longer format of the game is in the middle-order.
And following his first innings duck, the chorus of calls for Finch to at least be moved from the top of the order are likely to only grow in the coming days before Friday's second Test in Perth.