Dubai: Australian skipper Aaron Finch now wants to carry his team’s winning momentum into the World Cup. After recording a 5-0 sweep over Pakistan and a 3-2 win over India, which included three consecutive victories that has given his team eight consecutive wins in One Day Internationals, Finch said: “We’ll go to the World Cup with a lot of confidence now, even after a lot of people wrote us off. The next couple of weeks will be important for the guys to refocus and recharge their batteries. The selectors have a hard job to select the World Cup squad.”
Finch had led from the front and bagged the player of the series award but fell 27 runs short of George Bailey’s Australian record of 478 for the most runs scored in a bilateral campaign.
Talking about his splendid form, Finch said: “It was probably my most consistent as a batter. I think if you look back through my career, there’s been times when I’ve got a couple of hundreds an there will be some really low scores in there as well. It was nice to get a good start to each game and still kicking myself at a couple of chances where I could have gone on and got some really big match-winning scores. It was nice to start the series really well and set the tone early.”
To beat Pakistan and India, the two giants of Asian cricket, on their conditions, speaks volumes about the determination of the squad. With David Warner and Steve Smith set to return to the team after their 12-month ban, a few from the squad may miss out on the tournament in England.
“When the side is playing so well, it’s going to be difficult,” said Finch. “I will definitely have my views. Our [coach] Justin [Langer] and I, we talk all the time, every day, about selections and team make-ups, different scenarios and things like that. Whatever balance you go with in that 15-man squad, there’s going to be some very unlucky blokes out there.”
Justin Langer is delighted with his team’s performances “It’s very satisfying,” he said. “We came here in September and Pakistan showed us how to play cricket. We worked really hard in the summer to turn it around, and 5-0 is a great result. Playing spin bowling has been a problem for a long time, but we’ve worked very hard and put some great plans into place. Everyone in world cricket is working towards the World Cup, and it’s always nice to go into the tournament with confidence. We’ve got some now.”
Glenn Maxwell, who played his 100th ODI match on Sunday and made it a special by bagging the man of the match award for the second consecutive time, said: “It was nice to get involved. Our batting group did a great job. The team performance has been outstanding. To have this consistency leading into the World Cup is great.”
Finch concluded by saying that having a settled squad is special: “The fact that guys are getting more of an opportunity to keep developing their role and developing the role they’ve been asked to play or the game demands… is gold.”