Head set to claim Finch's 50-over spot

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 Head set to claim Finch's 50-over spot
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Travis Head is set to be handed the first shot at replacing Aaron Finch as David Warner's opening partner in one-day cricket, as team officials turn an eye to next year's World Cup.

Australia will line up for three ODIs against England from next Thursday, making for a short turnaround post their Twenty20 World Cup failure.

The series marks the start of 17 one-day internationals between now and next year's World Cup in India, with Australia eyeing a shot at reclaiming the trophy they lost in 2019.

The majority of Australia's T20 squad will likely feature in that tournament, with crossover in the majority of positions.

But Finch's retirement from the 50-over game in September has opened the door for Head.

He is expected to be named in Australia's squad when it is announced on Tuesday, and will likely open with Warner in the three games against England.

The South Australian has filled the role previously, making scores of 101 and 89 when Warner missed the one-day series against Pakistan in March.

"I think Travis Head will get some opportunities with the retirement of Aaron Finch," Australia coach Andrew McDonald said.

"We're excited to see what he can do in one-day cricket.

"We saw how he went in Pakistan against a world-class attack, he was able to take them on and his one-day domestic record is second to none.

"He's got big hundreds, and double hundreds."

Head has endured a tough start to the domestic season, but scored a half-century against NSW opening at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.

The left-hander had conceded in June he would likely not be picked for next year's World Cup, given he couldn't see himself batting in the middle-order in white-ball cricket.

But Finch's retirement has significantly enhanced his chances.

"I'm adaptable, but I don't think that'd be my role moving forward," Head said at the time.

"My opportunity will probably come in a while at the top of the order.

"The feedback is I've got to wait my time ... with two world-class players (in David Warner and Aaron Finch) sitting there at the moment."

Beyond Head, NSW opener Daniel Hughes is giving himself every chance to be in the frame with two 50-over centuries at the top of the order to start the season.

Rising star Josh Phillipe would be another contender, scoring 291 runs at an average of 97 so far this season after being near the top of the charts last summer.

Meanwhile officials must determine whether to play newly-installed captain Pat Cummins against England, or rest him ahead of a nine-Test summer at home and in India.


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