By Matt Somerford
Aaron Finch wants to follow his Australia coach Darren Lehmann and cement his name in Yorkshire folklore.
The destructive opening batsman, who is the number one ranked Twenty20 batsman in the world, arrived in the White Rose county this week and has immediately set his sight on making his mark.
The 27-year-old is set to make his NatWest T20 Blast debut against Derbyshire Falcons on Friday night, and has been enthused about the move after speaking to Lehmann – who established himself as a legend in Yorkshire during his 10 years of service.
With Australian coach Jason Gillespie at the helm of Yorkshire – and some early banter amongst his new team-mates since flying in from the Indian Premier League – Finch is already feeling at home.
“I have been looking forward to it for quite a while. It is a fantastic opportunity,” he told a press conference at Headingley on Tuesday.
“When you’ve got someone like Boof (Lehmann) and Dizzy (Gillespie), who are very close mates, I think that helps a little bit in getting the process in motion. I’m excited to be here.
“He (Lehmann) reminds everyone constantly he’s a Yorkshire legend! He’s just so passionate about this county, it’s just a fantastic place to play.
“I was here yesterday and met all the guys. They are a quality bunch of blokes. There is a lot of banter thrown around already, which is nice!”
Finch is expected to be a major hit in the Blast after wowing English crowds last summer.
The Victorian blasted a world-record 156 from 68 balls against England at the Ageas Bowl to help propel him into the top echelon of the world’s Twenty20 batsmen.
Finch will, however, play in all formats for Yorkshire and is keen to prove himself as a four-day player.
“I had interest from other sides but that didn’t interest me, I don’t feel like I need to prove anything in T20s,” he said.
“Over the past few years my four-day form has been pretty poor but my T20 form has not been too bad so I think for me personally this will be a good opportunity to play a handful of four-day matches, experience county cricket and experience English conditions which is going to be so crucial.”
With the Ashes to be played in England next summer, Finch has his eye on a possible call-up.
He has never been capped at Test level, but takes inspiration from Hyderabad Sunrisers team-mate David Warner – who has turned himself from a short-game specialist into a feared player at Test level too.
“People like David and (Virender) Sehwag have shown that if you get going you can take the game away from the opposition in one session.
“At times I’ve been caught between trying to play my natural game as an attacking player or go the other way and be ultra-defensive and try and grind out an innings. There were small technique changes that I think I had to make that I’ve been working on and it’s just a case of trying to nail them down.”
“If I perform well hopefully down the track, if a Test spot comes up for grabs, then I’m in the right place at the right time and in good form. I think this can only help that.
“I want to play Test cricket and that’s my number one goal.”
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