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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 5, 2019

Aaron Finch

West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England, UK

Q. Aaron, you've had a look at the wicket. Is there anything to suggest you won't go in with an unchanged 11 for tomorrow?
AARON FINCH: Probably not at this stage. I think we'll sit down and have a chat about it as a selection group after training. Got some guys that are still finishing up training now, but yeah, looks like a pretty similar wicket to what we expected it to be.

Q. Aaron, you played a lot against the West Indies over the years, but is this the first time there's almost an edge to this contest - in one day cricket- , you've got a lot more talk about execution, and there's so much talk about an Australia-West Indies game?
AARON FINCH: They're a very dangerous side, and I think whichever team comes out and executes it from the start of the game, I think it's important that you start really well, whether you bat or bowl first in the first 10-over periods are going to be really crucial, because we how damaging West Indies can be during that period. But also, equally, I think if we get off to a good start, then we can start to try and to get into our work a bit. I think if we are tentative and if we are a bit standoffish and wait for things to happen, that's when they can dominate you from the start. It's important that you turn up with the right attitude and the right intent in them first 10 overs, bat or ball.

Q. Obviously this pitch, it's known as a world record pitch; it's all about the runs scored here. A, when you looked at it today, does it look like it's so batter friendly? And B, do you have to change things at all as a captain, knowing how run friendly it can be?
AARON FINCH: It's probably a little bit drier than I expected it to be, the wicket. Obviously I can't imagine they would have put a huge amount of water into it over the last couple of days with there being so much weather around. No, I'm not surprised how it looks, but I think you have to understand that in conditions like this you're going to go for boundaries, so the key to bowling I think is to make sure that they're hitting your best ball. I think if you're executing your best ball over and over and they're playing good shots in our percentages, then you have to wear that. We know how fast the outfields are here in England. We know how flat wickets can be at times, so you have to be prepared to suck up some pressure and soak up a few boundaries here and there, as long as we're getting hitting in our areas and we often talk about now good execution versus poor execution, and that's all it is. Did they hit a good ball for 4? Yeah, so don't worry about that. If it's poor execution or a poor plan on my behalf, then it's something to reassess at the end of the game.

Q. I wondered how much discussions there had been about last year about what happened at Trent Bridge?
AARON FINCH: None. I think just before we turned up to the training yesterday, a few boys talked about their previous experiences here, which obviously haven't been overly pleasant, but we're in the home change rooms, which is a first for everyone, which is nice.

Q. Obviously West Indies did a lot of damage against Pakistan with the short ball. I'm just wondering if you've prepared for that?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, we have prepared for it. It's something, we played them in a warm-up game down at Southampton on the Nursery Ground there, and they bowled very similar. Also had a lot of success with it last game and got off to a really good start, so I expect that they will come with a similar-type plan. But the follow-up from bouncers in short bowling is the key, I think, at the end of the day. I think if you just stick to one plan, then teams get on top of you pretty quickly or they adjust quick enough. So I think it's important you follow-up deliveries, and that goes for us, as well. If you do go with a short plan, keep them on the hook, keep them guessing with good bowling. I think if you over-attack and continue to go too short or you continue to go too full, whatever it might be, it's about your follow-ups from them balls. But we're well and truly prepared, no doubt.

Q. Aaron, what do you think when you look at that very, very short boundary from the perspective of having to defend it or being out there able to attack it?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, it's going to be -- it's going to play a big part, no doubt. I think when teams have got left- and right-hand combinations, they've always got somebody able to target that boundary, so that's something that will be taken into account, no doubt, throughout the game. And as a bowling unit, it's about defending the big side.

We saw the other game, England-Pakistan, there was a lot of 2s out to that long side, so I think it's about using that running game and not neglect that at all because if you're just one-paced focused, you're just boundaries or 6 focused, you miss out on a lot of scoring opportunities. So I think we can use our speed between the wickets to that long side and try and put some pressure on it, and on the other side build some pressure by cutting off them 2s and really restricting easy runs out there.

Q. Just on your first time in the home dressing room, anything different about it that you've noticed?
AARON FINCH: Like all dressing rooms and all county cricket the guys have played, they're a bit bigger. They're a little bit more spacious than the away rooms. I think it's a tactic.

Q. Pat and Nathan have been quite vocal about Australia's plans to go to Chris. He's been scoring runs. What is your take on that?
AARON FINCH: Well, each bowler will have individual plans. I think when you come up against someone as dangerous as Chris, you have to be prepared, like I said before, that he's going to hit boundaries. So it's about trying to attack his weaknesses early and making sure that we're putting the ball in the areas that we want to be bowling. I think if you're -- again, if you second-guess yourself, if you're a bit tentative, if you're a bit nervous with the ball in hand, he'll get all over you, and once he's going, he's so hard to stop. So I think it's important that you come prepared to take the contest to him because he definitely does that the other way.

Q. The ICC is deciding whether to introduce concussion subs. Do you think the time has come to have that in international cricket?
AARON FINCH: I haven't thought too much about it, but I know that it has worked in Australia in domestic cricket. I think it gives the medical officers and the coaching staff, whoever makes that final -- the doctor, the person who makes that final decision, easier knowing that somebody can come in and replace. The last thing you want is people getting hit, obviously, but if there is -- you also don't want the game to be determined by someone getting hit and then being out of the game. If that happens in the first over, that's a huge disadvantage. Potentially something to look at, no doubt.

I think that in Australia playing for Victoria, we've had a few instances where it's happened one or two to Will Pucovski, where he's been hit by a bouncer and someone else has come in. We had a situation where Dan Christian came in as batter, but we chose not to bowl him because Will obviously didn't bowl, so it was one of those things that we thought was fair and reasonable to not take advantage of the rule and bring an allrounder in when that was the only option we had at the time.

If everyone plays ball, I think it's a good decision. It's all about the safety of the player, and at the end of the day, the game of cricket isn't as important as someone's health.

Q. Just on Chris Gayle, his record against Australia isn't great. I think he averages 26 in one-day cricket, never scored a century against Australia. Any reason why that might be, and if so, what do you take from that into tomorrow?
AARON FINCH: I think the West Indies aren't a side that we tend to play year in, year out. Those stats would be over a really long period of time, so it's hard to put a definite reason why because you might play two games here -- and with some injuries that Chris has had the last time that they played in Australia was a few years ago, and he played the first two and then didn't play the rest of the series. He had a back issue.

So it's tough to put something right on it, to say this is the reason why. It's just it comes down to some good planning, no doubt, but also one or two games here and there over a long period of time, it probably doesn't give you a full picture, either.

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