Dubai, Nov 13 (IANS) Australia captain Aaron Finch is extremely excited to be playing against New Zealand in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday. He added that irrespective of the formats, their battles with New Zealand, also their neighbours have always been great.
Before the meeting in the final of the ongoing mega event, Australia had lost to New Zealand 3-2 in a five-match T20I series earlier in the year. In their recent meeting, during the warm-up match before the start of the tournament, Australia had chased 159 to beat New Zealand by three wickets.
“It’s bloody exciting to be playing against New Zealand. They are a great team and led super by Kane Williamson. So, it’s just one of those things that both teams seem to have found their way into each other’s path along the way in some tournaments. So, it’s really exciting. I think both teams have got a great history in cricket — well, not just cricket, but as neighbours, so to speak, Down Under. It’s a great relationship. We play quite a bit against New Zealand now and we always have great battles regardless of the format,” said Finch in the pre-final press conference on Saturday.
Finch mentioned how keeping wicketkeeper Matthew Wade behind in the chase against Pakistan worked well. From 96/5 in 12.2 overs, Wade remained unbeaten on 41 off just 17 balls, including taking a hat-trick of sixes against Shaheen Shah Afridi to take Australia home in the second semi-final with an over to spare.
“We talked about it the other day. The possibility of Matt going in a little bit further up the order especially with Shad, still having a couple of overs to go, but we decided to hold him back towards the end and it paid off there. He’s someone who is really versatile in our order. We’ve seen him open the batting, bat at three, and now he’s down at seven. He provides a huge amount of flexibility for our team.”
Finch was appreciative of his bowling attack, with a special mention to pacer Pat Cummins, who conceded just three runs in the 19th over o’ Pakistan’s innings. “I think Pat’s been fantastic right through the innings. He’s bowled some really crucial overs in the Power-play and through the middle, and like we saw last game, that 19th over to bowl, to just go for three I think was so impressive.”
“Our whole bowling unit have been really impressive all the way through. I think the way that Maxie and Mitch Marsh have contributed with Marcus Stoinis, who has not had much opportunity with the ball. But the way they have shared the fifth bowler responsibilities has been fantastic. Been really pleased with the bowling attack.”
The 34-year-old admitted that there were nerves when the run-chase against Pakistan was on. At the same time, he was confident in the batting-heavy composition of the playing eleven. “There’s a few nerves there no doubt. We wouldn’t be human if that wasn’t the case. It was a tense game and the fact that we are on the right end of it was obviously very exciting.”
“But that’s probably been the change in our approach to T20 cricket in this series. We’ve gone in with seven specialist batters for the reason that if you have a slight hiccup, we still have a lot of power and balance down the bottom of the order. So we carry a lot of confidence with the makeup of the team as well.”