End of the innings is crucial: Finch
An aggressive opening batsman, Australia’s Aaron Finch has been in sublime form against India, scoring 165 runs in four innings so far in the series. A big hitter of the ball, Finch is ideally placed to give his team a good launching pad on which the middle order can capitalise in the second half of the innings.
Elaborating on what it means to him to come in to bat at the top of the order, Finch said, “The two new balls are still very hard, and there’s not much reverse swing in the one-day game now. The balls are still too new. I think that’s why we are seeing such big scores in one-day cricket. Obviously there are only four fielders out, but the balls are still hard at the end of the innings and guys are powerful enough to hit it over the rope consistently now. At the start of the innings it might be a little bit more challenging with a bit more swing every now and then. But I don’t think it’s a huge part of the game now, because the wickets are pretty good and pretty dry.”
“I think it’s a part of the game that’s definitely changed, and it’s something that we have had to adapt to. I think the end of the innings has become pretty crucial.”
“The way teams are playing at the moment, we are seeing so many runs scored in the last 10 overs. And I think that’s a real reflection of the ball still being so hard. In the years gone by when there was only one new ball, there was a bit more reverse swing. The ball was softer, and so it was harder to hit a six. So I think the game has definitely changed in the favour of the batsmen now, no doubt. Bowlers have become unbelievably skilled over the last few years, to be able to keep adapting with the times and changing and improving all the time. Trying to stay ahead of the batsmen; it’s very hard to do. We are seeing teams get 120-130 off the last 10 overs consistently, and that’s phenomenal. To think that you can chase down any total, basically, if you’ve got wickets in hand,” he added while discussing the changes further.
As per the new rules, only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the first Powerplay and only three fielders are allowed outside the circle during the second Powerplay. Meanwhile, during non-Powerplay overs, a maximum of four fielders are allowed outside the circle. Hence the batsmen are able to score more freely. Speaking about fielding tactics while bearing in mind these rules, he said, “No (special tactics are deployed), and that’s why it’s becoming so hard for the bowlers, because most players around the world can hit to at least five, if not six different areas. And if you can cover only four of them, it becomes very hard for the bowlers. And as a batsman, I think it’s a great rule.”
While adding that the changes have made the game more entertaining, he said, “There was probably a chance that Twenty20 could overtake it as the entertaining game, so to speak. But I think the way the game has changed now, one-day cricket is extremely exciting. The scores that we are seeing all around the world now are exceptional. 300 is almost becoming a par score. We will get to the point where 400 will be chased. I mean India chased 360 in 44 overs or something against us. That just goes to show how much the game has changed over the last 20 years.”
While speaking about match preparations, Finch added, “On to the training part, I suppose that is just trying to get a feel for the ground. We go out there and try and hit a few sixes and just get a feel for how far you are hitting the ball. It’s something we do a fair bit of now just to practice hitting them over the fence. We obviously have our main net session where we just work on our technique and a bit of bat versus ball kind of stuff. But the six-hitting is a fun bit. It makes you feel good at the end of a session.”
Speaking about the series, he said, “It’s definitely positive being 2-1 up. Whether it’s a five-match or seven-match series, it doesn’t matter. The best team is still going to come out and win this series at the end of the day. So we have still two games left. We are very confident that we are playing good cricket at the moment and I am sure India is as well.”