T20 World Cup: Australia focussed on ‘aggressive cricket’ since loss to England, says Aaron Finch

Australia captain Aaron Finch says there are “no holes in New Zealand’s game” ahead of the sides’ meeting in Sunday’s T20 World Cup final; Australia have defied many pre-tournament predictions to reach title match, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 1pm

Last Updated: 13/11/21 3:49pm


Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Aaron Finch says he always believed Australia could contend for the World Cup title despite coming into the tournament on a losing run

Aaron Finch says he always believed Australia could contend for the World Cup title despite coming into the tournament on a losing run

Captain Aaron Finch says Australia’s crushing defeat to England during the Super 12 stage was a catalyst for them to play “aggressive cricket” and reach the T20 World Cup final.

Australia play New Zealand in Sunday’s title game in Dubai having won three matches in a row, including a thrilling semi-final against Pakistan on Thursday, since they were thumped by Eoin Morgan’s men.

Finch’s side stuttered to 125 all out against England before Jos Buttler’s blistering 71 not out from 32 balls saw his team past Australia’s total with 50 deliveries to spare in an eight-wicket drubbing.

Former Australia star Shane Watson and ex-New Zealand seamer Simon Doull give their verdict on Sunday's showdown between New Zealand and Australia.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Former Australia star Shane Watson and ex-New Zealand seamer Simon Doull give their verdict on Sunday’s showdown between New Zealand and Australia.

Former Australia star Shane Watson and ex-New Zealand seamer Simon Doull give their verdict on Sunday’s showdown between New Zealand and Australia.

Australia rebounded from that loss by blowing away Bangladesh and beating West Indies before seeing off Pakistan in the last four as Matthew Wade struck three sixes in a row off Shaheen Afridi.

Australia are now one win away from a maiden T20 World Cup crown, an accolade Kane Williamson’s New Zealand are also eyeing.

Reflecting on the defeat to England, Finch, who scored 44 from 49 deliveries in that game, told Sky Sports: “We had a bad night, no doubt about that, and probably went away from what we committed to before the tournament which was being really aggressive.

Win the toss, win the game? Rob Key reckons that could be the case in Dubai...

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Win the toss, win the game? Rob Key reckons that could be the case in Dubai…

Win the toss, win the game? Rob Key reckons that could be the case in Dubai…

“Great teams don’t let you into games all that often, you have to force your way in and we probably got a little bit timid in that game.

“I was guilty of it myself, just trying to bat through the middle overs rather than trying to put pressure back on when Liam Livingstone and Adil Rashid were bowling.

“We recommitted to that and we knew if we were going to win the tournament that you have to take on the opposition. You can’t let great teams just play their way.”

As a team we don’t play a huge amount of T20 cricket together – often there is one T20 tacked onto Test and ODI series when you are potentially resting some of your players who play multiple formats. We have also played a lot of the tournaments in the subcontinent as well and probably haven’t adjusted to the conditions quite as well as we could have.

Aaron Finch on why Australia have never won T20 World Cup

Finch says Australia are now up against another “great side” in New Zealand.

The Black Caps have reached the finals of the previous two 50-over World Cups – losing to Australia in 2015 and England in 2019 – while earlier this year they defeated India to become the inaugural world Test champions.

Williamson’s charges lost their T20 World Cup opener to Pakistan but have since reeled off five victories in row, including an eight-wicket hammering of pre-tournament favourites India and a five-wicket win over England in Wednesday’s first semi-final.

Finch said of New Zealand: “They have match-winners throughout, power and also a lot of class.

Watson and Doull look at the key players and crunch battles ahead of the T20 World Cup final

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watson and Doull look at the key players and crunch battles ahead of the T20 World Cup final

Watson and Doull look at the key players and crunch battles ahead of the T20 World Cup final

“Regardless of what situation you put them in, they fight tooth and nail, scrap and stay in games somehow. There are times you think they are gone and then they pull it off. That’s one of their great strengths.

“Their fielding is unbelievable as well, while they have quality with the new ball in guys who swing it [in Trent Boult and Tim Southee].

“They are just such a well-rounded side, well-respect side, led brilliantly by Kane. There are no holes in New Zealand’s game and they don’t buckle under pressure very often.”

Having a guy like Matthew Wade, at the age of 33, batting at No 7 gives you real class and calmness. If someone has the power to hit you over mid-off but can also flick you over fine leg, that is a really tough position for a captain to be put in at the death.

Aaron Finch on match winner against Pakistan, Matthew Wade

Australia have won all four of their knockout matches against New Zealand in ICC events, with their success in the 2015 World Cup final following victories in the 1996 World Cup quarter-final, 2006 Champions Trophy semi-final and 2009 Champions Trophy Final.

Should Finch’s side make that five out of five, they will win a tournament few had tipped them to succeed in having lost their previous five T20 series before the World Cup.

Those results included 4-1 defeats in West Indies and Bangladesh earlier this year, albeit with weakened squads, with the likes of David Warner, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell absent.

There was never any doubt in our camp. It’s funny how one, two or three failures in a format that can be brutal for top-order batters taking risks causes people to jump on you but we had so much confidence in him in the changing rooms. He has a lot of confidence in his own ability as well.

Aaron Finch on David Warner’s return to form

Finch added: “We honestly felt as though we had the squad to [win the World Cup]. Yes, our form wasn’t great but the teams we have had in the past are totally different to what we have now.

“It’s been a brilliant campaign for us. The way everyone has got on brilliantly well, the vibe in the group is outstanding, the support from the coaches. It would be huge to win it – it would mean a lot to Australia.”

Watch the T20 World Cup Final, between New Zealand and Australia, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 1pm on Sunday.



Source link