Australia's not-so secret ODI weapon | cricketnetwork.com

Australia's not-so secret ODI weapon

17 May 2018

Aaron Finch determined to continue his good run against England, but wants to see big runs translated to wins this time around

In a time of uncertainty in Australian cricket, new coach Justin Langer will be comforted to know he has a senior player in his ranks with one of the best one-day records against England in recent times.

Newly named ODI vice-captain Aaron Finch boasts five centuries, close to 1,000 runs and an average 55.11 against England since he made his one-day international debut in January 2013.

Only New Zealand veteran Ross Taylor has more ODI runs against England (1061 to 992) and along with Finch has the most hundreds in the same period.

"They're a team that I feel comfortable playing against," Finch told cricket.com.au. 

"They've had a fair amount of success against me personally as well. 

"I think it's just the way they play their cricket that suits my game. They're a team that I've seen in the past once you get in, their attack generally goes into a bit more of a defensive mindset to allow that player to get off strike and bowl a majority of the balls to a new batter. 

"That plays into my hands but they've still got a quality bowling lineup, they've still got an attack that can knock you over at the top of the innings. 

"Adil Rashid has been in good form, he's a quality spinner along with Moeen Ali as well."

Langer, ODI captain Tim Paine and the rest of the Australians will be hoping Finch can replicate his stunning form from the Gillette ODI Series last summer when they take on England in the five-match ODI Qantas Tour of England next month.

At home against England in January, Finch posted scores of 107, 106 and 62 in the opening three matches before injury struck and ruled him out of the final two fixtures of the series. 

Fantastic Finch makes it back-to-back tons

While he is pleased with his efforts, unfortunately for Finch they have come in losing causes of late. 

"The last two series against India (250 runs at 83.33 in a 4-1 series loss) and then England (4-1 loss) I performed well personally in terms of output of runs but we still didn't win a hell of a lot of games," Finch said. 

"For me that was disappointing to score runs and not win. 

"There was a real opportunity for me to go and get some match-winning hundreds and I didn't do that, so that was disappointing. That will be something that I'm looking to change. 

"In four-day cricket, my game has been reasonably consistent over the past couple of years so hopefully you're seeing a more consistent player. 

"I'm comfortable with where my game is at. There's still a lot of improving to do but I'm feeling good about it."

While Australia will want the Victorian to mirror those performances against England, they will ask for a reversal in the scoreline.

England, the world's No.1 ODI outfit, shocked Australia with an all-out attacking approach with the bat while their dynamic bowling unit proved too strong for the hosts. 

But Finch said the two teams were a lot closer than the series ledger read.

"We got outgunned last time," he said. "They played a high-risk game that came off. 

"I'm not saying we have to play as high-risk as them but they played very well. 

"Their spinners bowled incredibly well through the middle of the innings, their batters fired when they were under pressure. 

"We've got to be a little bit more consistent, a bit better just for longer. 

"We showed some great signs, some great ability to get into a contest but then we let it slide in a few opportunities where we had a chance to put the foot down, and I was responsible for a couple of them. 

"Getting out for 107 and 106 that left us hanging and left us 20-30 runs short when we had an opportunity to push on and get 330-340 and put a huge amount of pressure on them. 

"I think it's just polishing up a couple of areas here and there. 

"We were still very close. The scoreline didn't look flattering but I think it was a couple of per cent here and there in all facets and we would've been right there."

Check out Australia's new-look ODI squad

Finch will have a new opening partner in England following David Warner's 12-month suspension for his involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.

The 31-year-old says he feels no extra pressure without Warner by his side and will look to form a close bond with whoever his new top-order comrade will be.

"I think there's always pressure when you're an opening batter and particularly when you're a senior opening batter," said Finch.

"Davey and I have obviously done it for the best part of my 88 games, but at the end of the day it's about forming a relationship as quick as you can with whoever does come in to do it. 

"When you work well with someone and you know them off the field that generally translates into a good relationship on the field. 

"It's about knowing each other's games and whoever that is to play that role, it will be a goal of mine to build that relationship as quick as we can and understand each other's games and strengths and weaknesses and just really make sure we're on the same page. 

"That doesn't guarantee success but it goes a long way to an opening partnership be successful."

Qantas tours of England and Zimbabwe

ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye

T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth

Qantas Tour of England

June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)

June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's

June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)

June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff

June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)

June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)

June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford

June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)

Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe

Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia

Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe

Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia

Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe

About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.