Aaron Finch’s increasingly fraught efforts to make a first-class batsman of himself may lead the Victorian to New South Wales, after the Blues made him a state contract offer for next summer.
Conspicuous as a Twenty20 and limited-overs batsman, formats in which he has represented Australia, Finch nurses a mediocre record in four-day matches, having reaped only 1528 runs at 29.96 in 30 matches with two centuries.
Finch’s struggles to convert his natural ability and power into consistent first-class performance sum up a wider batting problem in Australian cricket, as the generations following those of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey have failed to produce the prolific tallies that would have helped maintain the nation’s place as an international power.
Perhaps aware of the need to change this indifferent record, Finch requested release from his current contract with the Bushrangers to seek out other options, and New South Wales have opened up an avenue for the 27-year-old to move north for next summer. Finch is weighing up the offer, which would stretch him to perform in the tight battle for places in the New South Wales batting order.
The Blues have already lost one significant name after the young legspinner Adam Zampa elected to accept an offer from South Australia, who were able to offer him a virtually guaranteed place in their teams across the Sheffield Shield, limited-overs and T20 competitions.
A less certain future awaits the sometime Australia allrounder Daniel Christian, who ended 2012-13 out of the South Australia team after a difficult summer in which his harvest of runs and wickets dried up while he also faced disciplinary sanctions for repeatedly losing his composure in the dressing rooms after being dismissed.
Still under contract to the Redbacks for next season, Christian may nonetheless find himself moving elsewhere, with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane all possible destinations.
There is the chance that another former Australian representative, the highly regarded but injury-blighted Andrew McDonald, may move across to Adelaide, where he is already contracted tot he Strikers in the Big Bash League. Like Finch, McDonald also requested a release from his Victoria contract as the recruitment period opened up.