Wade Ruled Out, Finch Named Captain

Australia's stand-in skipper a late withdrawal for first ODI against New Zealand in Auckland

An eleventh hour injury has ruled out captain Matthew Wade of the opening Chappell-Hadlee Trophy match in Auckland, with Aaron Finch called up to lead Australia.

Wade woke up with back spasms on the morning of the first match at Eden Park and after gingerly warming up with his teammates it was decided the 29-year-old was unfit to play.

Queenslander Sam Heazlett will make his ODI debut for Australia while Peter Handscomb will take the gloves. Finch becomes Australia's 24th ODI skipper.

"Matthew injured his back at the end of Sunday's training session and, with the short turnaround between then and the start of this match, he was not fit enough for today as, when we checked him out this morning, he was unable to perform at the appropriate level," said Cricket Australia Chief Medical Officer Doctor John Orchard.

"We will make a decision on his availability for Thursday's match in Napier in due course but at this stage our expectation is that this is a short-term injury."

Wade was named Australia’s captain late last week in the wake of an ankle injury to full-time skipper Steve Smith in the last VB Series ODI against Pakistan in Adelaide last Thursday.

Vice-captain David Warner, who captained Australia in Smith’s absence in Sri Lanka last winter, is missing the three-match tour of New Zealand to rest before heading to Dubai to prepare for the Test tour of India next month.

The deputy’s absence opened the door for Wade to become the 24th ODI captain for Australia, but now his Victorian teammate will have that honour.

"I'm hugely disappointed but after getting checked out this morning I knew I would not be able to play," Wade said.

"I wish Aaron all the best as captain in my absence and I'm delighted for Sam Heazlett, making his international debut."

Finch was dropped for the ODI series against Pakistan but earned a recall for the Chappell-Hadlee series due to his blistering form in the KFC Big Bash League and the resting of Warner and Usman Khawaja.

Captaining the Melbourne Renegades, Finch amassed 354 runs at 44.25 with a strike rate of 160.90.

Handscomb filled in for Wade behind the stumps during the Sydney Test against Pakistan when the wicketkeeper was ill and has taken the gloves in 14 Sheffield Shield matches for Victoria.

Finch won the toss on his ODI captaincy debut and has elected to bowl first. (Cricket)

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