Captain Finch banking on change of fortunes for Australia at Trent Bridge
Aaron Finch’s side take on West Indies in their second World Cup group game.
Aaron Finch has welcomed a different changing room at Trent Bridge as he looks to play a role in reversing Australia’s fortunes at the ground.
Nottingham has recently been an unhappy hunting ground for Australia, who were bundled out for 60 here in the 2015 Ashes, while their last visit 12 months ago saw England bulldoze their way to a world record one-day international total of 481 for six.
Finch was among those left shell-shocked last June, a few months before his elevation to limited-overs captain, but he insists there has been no dwelling on what transpired on Australia’s return to the venue.
However, with Australia the designated home team ahead of their second World Cup group game against West Indies on Thursday, Finch did admit that he was happy with a change of scenery.
Asked whether there have been discussions about the England game last year, Finch said: “None. None whatsoever.
“Just before we turned up to training (on Tuesday), a few boys talked about their previous experiences here which obviously haven’t been overly pleasant.
“But we’re in the home changing rooms which is a first for everyone, which is nice.”
Australia have beaten the Windies in nine of their last 10 ODIs – although they have not played each other in the format since 2016 – and warmed up for the World Cup by defeating Jason Holder’s side in Southampton.
However, while Australia started the defence of their crown with a routine seven-wicket win over Afghanistan on Saturday, the Windies made a statement the day before, hammering Pakistan by the same margin after blowing them away for 105.
Finch said: “They’re a very dangerous side. I think it’s important that you start really well.
“Those first 10-over periods are going to be really crucial because we know how damaging the West Indies can be during that period.
“I think if we’re tentative and a bit stand-offish and wait for things to happen, that’s when they can dominate you from the start.
“It’s important that you turn up with the right attitude and the right intent in the first 10 overs, bat or ball.”
Windies opener Chris Gayle is averaging 94.8 in ODIs this year with a strike rate of 135.42, and the destructive 39-year-old played his part in the win over Pakistan with a typically belligerent half-century.
Finch added: “I think that when you come up against someone as dangerous as Chris, you have to be prepared that he is going to hit boundaries.
“It’s about trying to attack his weaknesses early and make sure we are putting the balls in the areas we want to be bowling.
“I think if you second guess yourself, are a bit tentative with the ball in hand, he will get all over you.
When he gets going, he is so hard to stop. I think it's important you come prepared to take the contest to him. Aaron Finch on facing Chris Gayle
“When he gets going, he is so hard to stop. I think it’s important you come prepared to take the contest to him because he is going to do that the other way.”
The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that the International Cricket Council is set to introduce concussion substitutes later this year.
The concept is already in use in domestic leagues in Australia and England, and Finch would support the initiative being introduced in internationals.
He said: “If everyone plays ball, I think it’s a good decision. It’s all about the safety of the player and at the end of the day, a game of cricket isn’t as important as someone’s health.”