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‘It’s just about playing the conditions as well you can’ – Aaron Finch

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh scored half-centuries as the Australians took control of their four-day tour game against Pakistan A in Dubai on the second day.

Nathan Lyon was the hero in Australia’s bowling effort, returning 8-103 as Pakistan A were bowled out for 278. Australia have since reached 207-2 in 80 overs, a hard grind in trying conditions.

Finch, opening the innings with Usman Khawaja, scored 54 in 91 balls with seven fours. Khawaja scored 36 in 131 balls, batting on with Shaun Marsh (54*) after Finch became the first to fall, after a stand of 82 with Khawaja. The other Marsh, Mitchell, ended the day on 53*.

For most onlookers, curious as to how Finch, a reputed short-format slugger, would go in red-ball cricket, it was a nice experience as Finch displayed good patience.

“The conditions dictated that a little bit, the wicket was pretty slow,” said Finch, 31 and vastly experienced in 20- and 50-over cricket but yet to make his Test debut.

“With fielders in front of the wicket, you’re not going to get off to a flyer, you’re not going to score as freely as you would if the wicket had a bit more pace and bounce in it. It’s just about playing the conditions as well you can.

“It was nice to get out in the middle after training away for the best part of a week and doing the hard yards. It was good to finally get out in the middle.”

Finch has played 93 ODIs and 42 T20Is, and owns the record for the highest individual score in T20 internationals – 172 in just 76 balls against Zimbabwe in Harare earlier this year. It’s also the second-highest score in all T20s.

Though he hasn’t played Test cricket yet, the absence of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have left vacancies in that batting order, and Finch has done his case a lot of good by hitting close to 2000 first-class runs in the last three years.

Finch is one of the most destructive batsmen in white-ball cricket

Finch is one of the most destructive batsmen in white-ball cricket

“It’s pretty similar, to be honest,” said Finch when asked to compare opening in first-class cricket and short-format cricket. “It’s still about playing my natural game, which is quite aggressive generally.

“In these kinds of conditions, if you go nowhere and the scoreboard stands still for a long time, you can be a sitting duck. It’s still about playing my natural game, there will be an opportunity to taper that slightly with the conditions and with the wicket.

“You have to pick your moments and pick your bowlers, pick your balls and just to do it for as long as you can.”

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