Finch entered the tour with his form again under scrutiny after four low scores in five innings at the IPL and unconvincing returns for Australia for much of the last 12 months. Former team-mate Shane Watson had even gone as far as to say that Finch’s form could be a “liability” for Australia heading into their T20 World Cup title defence later this year.

For a split second on Tuesday night, it looked as though the Finch form talk would bubble on, when he was given out lbw third ball against Maheesh Theekshana. However, the DRS showed a thin edge and either side of a rain delay Finch clubbed his way to 61 off 40 balls with four sixes.

During the IPL, which had brought contrasting returns for the opening pair, Warner had spotted an issue that was playing a part in Finch’s problem and sent some advice over text. “[I just said] not to walk out into the ball, let the ball do the work in the air,” Warner said. “If they want to bowl nice and full, if you stay still, keep that leg-stump line, you are going to hit full contact with the ball.

“He was probably moving a little too much, was walking straight into the ball and was still moving at the time of the delivery. You don’t really want to do that unless you are charging. Just kept in touch with him, I always do, we support each other as much as we can. If we see little things we try to help out by dropping a message.”

Finch’s innings actually made it back-to-back half-centuries for him in T20Is after he finished the Pakistan tour in April with a fifty. The unbeaten stand of 134 with Warner was also their fourth century partnership in T20Is, taking them to the top of the list for Australia ahead of the three made by Warner and Watson.

“You could see his [Finch’s] energy was a lot different, running between wickets, he was up and about. It was great to see”

David Warner

“For Finchy, it’s about keeping it simple and not moving too much around the crease,” Warner said. “He looked to hit down the ground [when] the ball was in his area, he looked to hit his slog sweeps which he’s very, very good at. You could see his energy was a lot different, running between wickets, he was up and about. It was great to see.”

The pair also made a statement against Sri Lanka’s key bowler, Wanindu Hasaranga, by taking his opening over for 19 runs, although Warner said it was not premeditated and instead a response to Hasaranga giving the ball plenty of air.

Australia will look to wrap up the T20I series in the space of 24 hours with the second of back-to-back games in Colombo on Wednesday, but they will likely have to do it without Mitchell Starc, who suffered a badly cut finger in rather bizarre fashion.

In his opening over, the index finger of his left hand clipped a spike on his boot during his follow through. It was patched up by the physio and he was able to complete his four overs, taking 3 for 26 including the wicket of Pathum Nissanka, which started Sri Lanka’s nosedive of 9 for 28. But he won’t be able to start a new match with the same about of protection on the injury. Jhye Richardson will be the likely replacement if Australia retain the same balance in their attack.