Sharjah: Australian skipper Aaron Finch, who led his team to a second successive win with back-to-back centuries, is delighted with the momentum that his team has gained in the five-match series against Pakistan.
Counting from the Indian tour, it is his team’s fifth consecutive win in an ODI match and they will now aim to take an unbeatable lead through another win in Abu Dhabi in the third ODI on Wednesday.
“Things are going quite well at the moment, but there are always things to improve,” said Finch, who hit a career-best unbeaten 153 to ensure a second eight-wicket win for his team.
“On a wicket like that, you can’t afford to take it too deep with new batters. When you come in, it’s tough to score quickly at first. I just wanted to get through Imad (Wasim). He comes in and challenges the stumps and your pads. It’s hard to take a risk with him. I just hung in there as long as I could.”
Finch then went on to praise his opening partner Usman Khawaja, who cracked 88 runs and helped him put on a 209-run opening wicket partnership. “Usman has been in good form and he’s getting big runs at an important time,” he said.
The teammates were, of course, lavish in praise for Finch for his performance, starting from Khawaja. “The game ebbed and flowed, and our partnership ebbed and flowed a bit too. I got off with a bit of a flow while Finch was struggling to get it away and then he started middling it. To win the first two games was really important as we know Pakistan are strong in these conditions. When you get a partnership, you have to make it count as it’s hard for the new batsman coming in,” said Khawaja.
Star spinner Nathan Lyon too hailed Finch’s ability to work hard. “It’s probably the most controlled innings I’ve seen him (Finch) play in a while. Hats off to him because he’s been working his backside off. He’s probably not had the runs over the summer that he would have liked but he’s working hard with (coaches) Graeme Hick and Justin Langer. A lot of credit has to go to Aaron (Finch) obviously, but Langer and Hick have been massive as well. It was fantastic to see Finch bowling 10 overs too, (due to shoulder injury to Jhye Richardson).”
Lyon went on hail Finch as a fine captain. “It’s great to see Finchy cash in, to be honest. For him to bat the whole innings and chase down the target while remaining unbeaten, in my eyes shows a great leader. Hats off to Aaron, I think he deserves every accolade he gets for that innings.”
Asked about David Warner’s knock of 85 in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s first match of the IPL, Lyon said: “I think it’s absolutely amazing that our batters are standing up and scoring big runs. Also seeing David (Warner) going and scoring 85 is great and I hope he goes on to have a fantastic IPL. That’s just going to cause headaches for our selectors heading into the World Cup but it’s a great problem to have for Australia.”