Form slump not affecting Finch's leadership: Richardson

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Third Twenty20 International - Australia v India - Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia - December 8, 2020 Australia's Aaron Finch walks off after being caught by India's Hardik Pandya off the bowling of Washington Sundar REUTERS/Loren Elliott

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Aaron Finch's prolonged form slump has not changed the Australia captain's demeanour around the team in New Zealand and he deserves a "massive tick" for being able to put his struggles aside, fast bowler Kane Richardson said.

Australia's white ball captain Finch is under huge pressure to produce a score after bringing his poor form from the Big Bash League into the Twenty20 series.

He scored one run in the opener in Christchurch and 12 in Dunedin on Thursday as Australia fell 2-0 behind in the five-match series.

Richardson said Finch had not let his form affect his leadership.

"If you came into our camp today you wouldn't know that he's struggling for runs," Richardson told reporters on Friday.

"He hasn't changed how he is around the group with us, how he is on the field in terms of being captain and his plans.

"So that's a massive tick for him to not let his own form come into how he is away from cricket but also on the field.

"We just want to see him make some runs ... We all know how tough the game can be when you're not getting the output that you want."

With a raft of first-choice players left at home, Australia lost by four runs in Dunedin following their 53-run thrashing in Christchurch. The next game is in Wellington on March 3.

New Zealand piled on 219 for seven in Dunedin against a pace attack featuring Richardson, Jhye Richardson and rookie Daniel Sams.

Richardson said Jhye Richardson's return to international cricket after a major shoulder injury had been a bright spot but other bowlers had let the side down.

"As a bowling group, we've probably been outbowled these first two games," he said.

"He's definitely holding up his end of the bargain, but I think myself and a few others need to continue to back him up a bit better than what we have the first two."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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