HOT property Aaron Finch may be a fair dinkum Aussie, but he has already caught the Yorkshire bug.
That’s the message from Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale, ahead of the big-hitter’s eagerly-awaited bow for the county in tonight’s Twenty20 Blast encounter with Derbyshire Falcons at Headingley (5.30pm).
The Melbourne Renegades captain, the most prolific t20 batsman in the world, steps out for the Vikings and is desperate to make a first impression to savour after his IPL commitments delayed his arrival in the county.
After a loss to Northants Steelers and a wash-out against Birmingham Bears, Yorkshire could do with him coming to the party straightaway.
Despite being a proud Victorian by birth, Finch has spoken of his immense pride at representing Yorkshire and following in the footsteps of the likes of current Aussie coach Darren Lehmann and has already made a positive impression.
And according to Gale, he is chomping at the bit to make his cherished bow for his new county after being around his team-mates at Headingley throughout this week ingratiating himself with them.
Gale told the YEP: “Aaron came in on Monday and has been in every day all week. He’s a bit of a cricket ‘badger’ has loves to be around the dressing room and has been hitting balls and been in the gym.
“He’s really excited to get going, I can’t tell you how much. He is desperate to impress.
“He is still a young lad with things to prove. But he has got the Yorkshire bug and with Darren Lehmann being his coach at Australia and a Yorkshire legend and Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) here who has done work with him for Australia A, he wants to prove he can do it us.”
The arrival of Finch may massively bolster Yorkshire’s batting arsenal, but Gale has stressed the importance of not over-relying on the Antipodean if the county are to enjoy a t20 campaign to savour, with the supporting cast needing to step up to the plate, starting with tonight’s clash with Derbyshire.
Gale said: “Finchy is a great player, the best Twenty20 player in the world. But you can’t rely on one player to win you a game all the time.
“It’s about everyone else stpeping up and doing the job. We have some performers with really good proven track records in t20 cricket and it’s about the likes of Rich Pyrah who have really good records to step up and get the job done.”
On tonight’s encounter, he added: “It’s not a must-win game, but one we should really be looking to win as we need to get a start in this competition.
“Against Northants, we performed well in patches and probably deserved to win, but didn’t and to be washed out last week and everyone else play was frustrating. We need to get this campaign up and running. I see it as a game we should win really.”
Definitely out is Ryan Sidebottom, who is missing with a hamstring strain, which should only keep him out for a short spell, according to first-team coach Jason Gillespie.
Tim Bresnan is on one-day duty with England.
Included in the Vikings’ 14-man squad are Alex Lees, Steve Patterson, Jack Leaning, Azeem Rafiq and Oliver Robinson, while Kane Williamson has joined up with his New Zealand team-mates for their tour of the West Indies.