‘He’s just a fantastic bowler’: Finch bats for Holland
AARON Finch says Victorian left-arm spinner Jon Holland is a discerning call up for Australia's Test tour against heavyweight South Africa.
Holland, 30, was included in a 15-man squad for the four-Test tour of South Africa in March along with Western Australian bolter, speedster Jhye Richardson.
Holland took 50 Sheffield Shield wickets last season, behind Chadd Sayers' 62, which included 7/82 against South Australia in the Sheffield Shield final in Alice Springs.
Holland will shadow in-form off-spinner Nathan Lyon with his best chance of selection in the second Test at Port Elizabeth. However, Finch says Holland is a proven game breaker and destined to add to his two Tests for Australia.
"He has been in unbelievable form for a couple of years now," noted Australian one-day batsman Finch of Victorian teammate Holland.
"He spins the ball, takes wickets, is a genuine wicket-taker, has over 50 Shield wickets over the last two Shield seasons is outstanding. In big games, Shield finals he has taken five-fors, he is just a fantastic bowler."
Holland was ruled out of the JLT one-day Cup by knee surgery and has endured episodes of shoulder surgery that have sabotaged his first-class career. Finch says Holland has finally got his body right which saw him preferred to Ashton Agar.
"He's fitter than he has ever been, his shoulder is stronger than it has been for a long time. His batting is underrated, can get some handy runs. Hopefully he can get a spot in that side because he has deserved it," Finch said.
Rookie Richardson jumped Sheffield Shield player of the year Sayers into the Test squad for the Rainbow Nation. Finch believes Richardson's raw pace sealed a slot but Sayers could take heart with Holland rewarded for perseverance.
"He bowls quick and can swing the ball, has a lot of great attributes. It is exciting when you raw pace like that. It will be great for Jhye to be in around the Test team," said Finch of Australian one-day teammate Richardson.
"He has had a taste of one-day and Test cricket.
"He (Sayers) just has to take wickets, Jon has finally got his opportunity after a couple of 50-plus wicket seasons.'
Finch arrived in Adelaide focused on avoiding a one-day series whitewash against England on Australia Day at Adelaide Oval.
England sealed a series victory in Sydney on Sunday night, holding a 3-0 lead with matches in Adelaide and Perth to follow.
Keeper batsman Jos Buttler's ton (100, 83 balls) steered England to 6-302. Australia fell short by 16 runs with allrounders Marcus Stoinis (56), Mitch Marsh (55) and Finch (62) missing tons.
"I think there can be just a couple things we could touch up in all three couple of areas," said Finch who blasted centuries in Melbourne and Brisbane.
"Particularly towards the end Jos Buttler got away from us, particularly in that scenario. A couple of chances went down in the field and it was the same story, we kept losing wickets along the way. We didn't have big hundreds to get us home."