Australian captain Aaron Finch is backing his team and skills to put it all out there on Sunday night as they take the field against their Trans-Tasman neighbours in the T20 World Cup Final.
After both New Zealand and Australia saw off heavily favoured opposition in the Semi-Finals, England and Pakistan respectively to reach the decider, Finch knows that Australia will have to be at their very best if they are to finally win the trophy that has eluded the Australian Men’s Cricket team.
After entering the tournament following back-to-back series defeats in the West Indies and Bangladesh and sitting a lowly seventh in the world T20 ranking, it was commonly viewed from the outside that Australia would be seen as outsiders for this tournament.
However, Finch declared that regardless of the form line leading in, to make it to the Final of the world event was always part of the planning.
“We came here with a really clear plan to win this tournament,” Finch said to media prior to Sunday night’s Final.
“You have got to be in it to win it. So, to be one step closer and to be able to play New Zealand who are a great team… Just across the ditch, there is going to be brilliant”
Australia is renowned for the way they play through ICC tournaments, building throughout group stages and peaking at the right time as they reach the finals. It is a formula that has boded so well for them in 50 over World Cups which has seen them lift 5 titles in that form of the game.
But, as shown best by Matthew Wade and his heroics in the Semi-Final against Pakistan, T20 has emerged as a much different form of the game which requires an extreme level of tactical analysis, brute force, skills, innovation, and bravery.
“In T20 cricket you have to be brave,” Finch said
“You have to put it all out there, put it all on the line at some point in a game.
“The fact that we’ve had guys do that with bat and ball has been really impressive, to get us into this situation, to be playing off in a final I guess shows the commitment from the team to be able to stick to their own plans and play to their strengths”
Finch wouldn’t be drawn into the narrative that Australia had built their momentum steadily throughout the tournament, especially following their demolition at the hands of England. Explaining that T20 cricket, particularly at a tournament such as the T20 World Cup presents a different challenge and different matchups every time you step out onto the playing field.
” I don’t believe in momentum a huge amount, especially in a tournament like this” Finch explained.
“You’re playing a different opposition all the time… You’re not playing on the same wicket, you’re not playing against the same opposition every game so it’s hard to really be able to drill into some positive matchups that you might get or someone might get the wood over someone else.
“So it’s really hard to continue to nail that.
“I think it’s just about the team that turns up and executes on the day. T20 Cricket can be brutal at times”
“for someone to turn up and do their job really well, I think is a part of it and, what most people might call momentum, I think you just have to reset each game and re-evaluate”
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Australia and New Zealand have already faced off in a T20 series earlier this year in New Zealand with the home team emerging victorious 3 -2 in the five-match series.
Having now made the Final in four of the past five ICC events, Finch is wary of the challenge the Kiwis pose on the field.
“Any time you play New Zealand you know how great a contest it’s going to be,” Finch said.
“They’re so disciplined in all three facets of their game.
“Their fielding is outstanding and they are a team you have to be on for all 40 overs if you’re going to get over the line.
“They are really well led by Kane (Williamson) and regardless of how they’re going they seem to hang around for long enough in any kind of contest and wear you down.
‘they fight and scrap in every situation. They are a great side”
Despite the challenge that confronts him and his men, Finch is proud of his side and excited at the prospect of making history in Dubai on Sunday night.
“We’re really proud of where we are at the moment, where we’ve come from. One more step to go”
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