Marcus Hook’s Surrey CCC column: Finch and Roy unlikely to be having a T20 Blast

Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto isn’t a man who minces his words but following the opening day of this week’s championship clash with Warwickshire the Tasmanian was utterly scathing in his criticism – particularly of Surrey’s batsmen.

Di Venuto’s frustration was batters giving their wickets away after getting starts.
But, for me, the biggest crime was that Surrey were given 40 runs in extras – and handed them straight back.

It took Warwickshire’s openers – the equally impressive Dom Sibley and Will Rhodes – just seven overs to bring up the half-century partnership. In a low-scoring match which looked as if it could go either way at tea on day three, the legacy of those 50 runs was what energised the Bears.

Had their target been 340 instead of 290, there’s every chance Warwickshire would have buckled earlier. Instead, they bossed the third evening, which ended with them more than halfway to their objective and with seven wickets intact.

Until Sam Curran struck twice in the space of four balls, to spark the Bears’ collapse from 190-4 to 215 all out, many nails were being bitten in SE11.

Looking ahead to the T20 Blast,  I’m beginning to wonder what guarantees there are that Aaron Finch and Jason Roy will be striding out in unison to get the Surrey innings off to an explosive start.

After the way Finch batted against England at Lord’s on Tuesday, when he made a match-winning hundred to send Australia into the World Cup semi-finals, surely the Aussies will keep him on board for the Ashes.

As for Roy, his stock rises with every England game he misses through injury. If the Ashes started tomorrow, there’s a decent chance we’d be seeing Jason make his Test debut.

But this Sunday, nothing short of a rapid 50 from Surrey’s master blaster will do if England are to get the better of India, who remain my tip to win the tournament.

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