Cricket: Two stars axed from Australian cricket side

Aaron Finch will not be suiting up for Australia's ODI series against Pakistan. Photo / Photosport
Aaron Finch will not be suiting up for Australia's ODI series against Pakistan. Photo / Photosport

George Bailey's one-day career appears to be over after the former captain was culled alongside Aaron Finch from Australia's squad to play Pakistan.

Finch and Bailey were among the highest profile casualties in Australia's 14-man squad for the five-game series with selectors looking to the uncapped big hitter Chris Lynn. Test batsman Usman Khawaja has also been recalled to the limited-overs arena.

At 34, Bailey is unlikely to be able to force his way back into the one-day line-up. The 90-match veteran has struggled in recent performances for Australia, notching 50 just once in his past nine innings.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann said it was hard to dump a stalwart like Bailey.

"A tough call on George," Lehmann said. "He is a ripper bloke. He has been fantastic as a leader for us. Again it's down to performances from George.

He has to go back and make big runs. The door is not shut on any of those players. George has to perform well and put his case forward."

Finch too faces an uphill battle. The 30-year-old Victorian was a key member of Australia's 2015 World Cup final win over New Zealand but his form has dipped dramatically.

He has not scored a century since January 20 against India, and has one half-century from his past eight games. He scored 22 runs from three innings in Australia's most recent series against New Zealand. Lehmann said the decision to omit Finch was a "big call".

"He has been an integral part since the World Cup," Lehmann said. "Performances for Aaron have not been what we would want and what he would want. The challenge for him is to make runs in the BBL and get back in the side. It's a good challenge for him."

- news.com.au

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