Australia appoint Aaron Finch as new Twenty20 captain after George Bailey steps down

Bailey will focus on other forms of the game with Finch set to take charge of his first game as captain against Pakistan on October 5

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The Independent Online

Australia have announced the appointment of Aaron Finch as their new Twenty20 captain.

Finch replaces George Bailey who stood down on Sunday to concentrate on other forms of the game and will lead the side for the first time when they take on Pakistan in Dubai on October 5.

The 27-year-old is the top-ranked batsman in the shortest format of the game and has 18 T20 caps, averaging 41.25.

"Having the honour to captain your country in any form of the game is something that all young cricketers dream about," he said.

"It came as a big surprise but it was a very nice phone call to receive from Rod Marsh.

"I never imagined when captaining in the past that it would lead to national responsibilities. I've just set out to be the best player that I can and luckily an opportunity like this has come my way.

"I have been fortunate enough to play under some fantastic captains, including Michael Clarke and George Bailey and I have learnt a lot from them.

"It goes without saying that I will do my utmost in this role as we lead into the ICC World T20 in about 18 months' time. It's going to be very exciting."

National selector Rod Marsh added: "Aaron is the world's number-one ranked T20 International batsman and thoroughly deserves this opportunity.

"He has gained quality leadership experience through his role as captain of the Melbourne Renegades and the Pune Warriors. He also captained Australia A against the England Lions last year and excelled when given that chance.

"When George indicated that he was stepping down from the position, we thought Aaron was the obvious choice to succeed him. We know he will relish the opportunity to lead his country.

"He has a task ahead of him. He is taking on a young side that is currently ranked fifth in the world. His first challenge will be building consistent performances as they head towards the ICC World Twenty20 in 2016."

The announcement came as Cricket Australia revealed the squads for the tour of the United Arab Emirates where the national team will face Pakistan in a single T20, three one-day internationals and two Test matches.

Spinner Steve O'Keefe and batsman Mitchell Marsh have been named in the Test squad for the first time while all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and batsman Phil Hughes are also included.

Hughes will travel to the UAE earlier than the rest of the Test squad to work on his batting against spin with coaching consultant Muttiah Muralitharan.

Fast-bowler Sean Abbott comes into the ODI squad for the first time while spinner Cameron Boyce is named in the T20 party alongside paceman Pat Cummins who last represented his country in October 2012

"This series against Pakistan is highly important for Australian cricket, presenting a chance to reclaim the number one Test ranking," Rod Marsh said.

"It also forms an important part of our preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup as well as the opportunity to claim valuable points in the fight for the number one ODI ranking.

"Picking a three format touring party comes with its challenges. Each squad has been selected taking into account the conditions expected in the UAE and also with an eye on the World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 in 2016."

Test squad: Clarke(c), Doolan, Hughes, Haddin, Lyon, Marsh, Maxwell, O'Keefe, Johnson, Rogers, Siddle, Smith, Starc, Warner, Watson.

One-day international squad: Clarke (c), Abbott, Bailey, Faulkner, Finch, Haddin, Lyon, Marsh, Maxwell, Johnson, Smith, Starc, Warner, Watson.

Twenty20 squad: Finch (c), Abbott, Boyce, Cummins, Faulkner, Haddin, Marsh, Maxwell, Richardson, Smith, Starc, Warner, Watson.

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