Australia might have made batting look the easiest thing in the world with two 300-plus chases against India but opener Aaron Finch on Friday complimented his inexperienced bowlers, pointing out that the current attack combined has played less ODIs than one Mitchell Johnson.
The hosts recorded the highest chase at the Gabba as they scored 309 for three with one over to spare, to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match one-day international series.
“We had found out in Perth that our bowling attack has had less games than Mitchell Johnson by himself. So it is a real credit with the way the guys are applying themselves. They are training hard and learning from everyone, using all their resources and fighting it out in the middle,” said Finch after the seven-wicket victory.
“They are some really skillful bowlers and down the line they will definitely get their rewards. Joel Paris and Scott Boland played only their second games, having an impact and taking their first wickets today. Kane Richardson played only his ninth game today and putting his hand up.
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“It is great to see. It was really exciting for the boys and it is about the guys learning with the ODI World Cup three and a half years away. There is a chance to experiment and get games to the guys, and the selectors are thinking about that,” he added.
Finch (71) put on a 145-run partnership with Shaun Marsh and the duo set the stage for Australia’s successful run-chase. At one time though they were under pressure with the asking rate climbing up to seven per over, but they soon came out all guns blazing to unleash a flurry of boundaries.
“We were both struggling to time it early on and Shaun was batting beautifully. I felt I was hitting the ball nicely but just couldn’t hit it in the gaps. And that happens sometimes when the wicket gets slower. They bowled really well for the first 16-17 over period. Sometimes you just have to give credit to the bowlers but we both talked about it during the drinks’ break and we stayed calm,” he said.
“We knew that the wicket does get better and better as it gets darker and the lights take affect. At one point I was 30 off 60-odd. So it was a conscious effort to try and take the risk factor out and accumulate runs. The run-rate got up to seven per over at one time, so we made sure we batted calmly and dragged it down without exposing the new batsman to seven/over run chase,” he added.
India had scored 308 for eight thanks to a second consecutive hundred from Rohit Sharma. However, there was cause for some controversy, as he was given not out when he seemed to have nicked behind at the score of 89.
When asked about the lack of DRS in this current series, Finch replied, “It’s probably 1-1 if you look at it through the two games so far. It’s a tough one to say because India have got their points as to why they don’t want to use it. And it’s fairly valid as the rest of the world is using it. Cricket as a game balances itself out and we have been lucky that over the two games it didn’t cost us the game here.”
“I would like to see consistency around the world, either it is used or it is not. But in the end of the day India have got the right to make a decision. If the ICC makes a blanket rule that everyone has to use it, then there would be no debate about it. But they are still giving teams options and so I don’t think it is going to change anytime soon,” he added.
This was the second time Australia have successfully chased a 300-plus score, and it is not a regular occurrence in this country. India will have their task cut out against a batting line-up that is riding high on confidence at the moment.
“We have always had confidence that we can chase down any total. Compared to our bowling line up, our batting is quite experienced. We have guys who have played here as a team for quite some time now. When you look at a chase of 309, you still have to bat unbelievably well. Here the ground is so big, it is not a power game. So you have to adapt you game slightly and make it a running game. You have to still pick up a boundary at the same time but have to be creative in how you chase it down,” he said.
“We do back ourselves and we are doing it at the moment but all it takes is a couple of wickets in the middle part. And we have been lucky in the last couple of games. We had George Bailey and Steve Smith bat in the middle part in both games, and steer the game into a position where we could afford to bat how we really wanted for the last ten overs. If you take wickets through that middle part it stalls the run chase,” Finch signed off.
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