England’s meteoric rise, and Australia’s decline, post the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015 went pretty much hand-in-hand, as reflected in the results from recent matches between the two sides. England, playing an aggressive brand of cricket, beat their opponents 4-1 in Australia at the start of 2018, before wiping them out 5-0 at home later that same year. Finch, however, pointed out at the difference between the Australian teams of then and now, ahead of their face-off at Lord’s on Tuesday, 25 June.
“We tried last year to beat them at their own game and it wasn’t very successful,” he said. “We came up pretty short in that series. That was having quite an inexperienced group at the time, there was a lot of change in the one-day side at the time.”
The Victoria batsman went on to explain the value of trusting one’s abilities during such situations. “When you’ve got an inexperienced group, it can hit them a bit harder. It’s tough to play someone else’s game – you have to be true to your game plan and what your style is,” he said.
I think we’ve got the balance well and truly right, we’re playing some really good cricket with bat and ball, we’re fielding really well. Overall we’re improving nicely.
At the ongoing World Cup, Australia are currently placed second on the points table, with five wins from six matches. Finch credited head coach Justin Langer for the team’s improved performances in limited-overs cricket this year.
“‘JL definitely played a part in it. Guys that have been around a while and played a lot of one-day cricket, you sensed that that’s not a sustainable way to play our one-day cricket,” he said. “I think we’ve got the balance well and truly right, we’re playing some really good cricket with bat and ball, we’re fielding really well. Overall, we’re improving nicely.”
Finch, who had starred in Australia’s win over England in the 2015 World Cup with a stroke-filled 135, believed that the hosts’ recent loss to Sri Lanka is by no means an indicator of their current form.
“When you look at England over the last four years, they’ve been bloody consistent, so you can’t read a huge amount into it,” he said. “What we’ve talked about the whole tournament is if you let your guard down, or your mind slip a bit too far forward, any team can beat you on the day.”