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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 9, 2019

Aaron Finch

Kennington, London, England, UK

Q. When you were chasing 353, what was the model like and how did you decide to chase?
AARON FINCH: I think that India bowled really well with the new ball. I thought if we could have some wickets in hand and some batters in toward the back end of the innings, we could potentially do some damage. But we probably just kept losing wickets when we were trying to up the run rate, and then as you know, when new batters come in, the run rate creeps up slowly. When it gets to 10, 12 and over, it cranks up pretty quickly, as well.

Maybe a couple too many runs to chase, but also I felt as though we were in a decent position as we were moving along, we just lost wickets at the key times.

Q. When looking back at India's batting, particularly the first 10 overs, what do you think was done differently by the Indian batsmen to counter Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the first team?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, I think they took their time, obviously, and they assessed the conditions really quickly and probably identified that they were going to be the two hardest or the two biggest threats early on in the innings. It felt as though they swallowed their pride and really pulled back a gear and made sure that they got through them first 10 overs, and when you've got world-class players on good wickets and you've got 10 wickets in hand, you can start to up the ante a bit earlier.

I think not getting wickets early on was probably key there. To have them guys batting deep into the innings, that just gives them so many options where they can shuffle Pandya up the order and Dhoni, so yeah, I think they played it really well, and probably negated our biggest threats early on.

Q. Following on from that, Coulter-Nile went for his runs in his second over but he came back well in his other spells. Is he sort of safe at that first change, or do you consider changes perhaps against Pakistan?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, you look at all scenarios, all team makeups, especially for the opposition, and being a World Cup and you're playing a different side every game, you have to keep reassessing the best combination for each game, and I think that going into Pakistan we'll have a look at it again, no doubt, which we have been every game, and we felt as though that was the right combination today. That's just one of those things that comes down to match-ups with the opposition.

Q. Aaron, David scored slower than we're used to seeing against Afghanistan and here today. I think it was the slowest ODI half centuries. Is that due to conditions or is that a new approach you've seen from him since he's come back into the team?
AARON FINCH: Well, they bowled really well to him early, and I think particularly playing on a used wicket again for our second time in three games played a little bit of a part in that. Their spinners probably had a bigger impact than what ours did. Well, they did have a bigger impact than what our spinners did, through them middle overs in particular where the ball was just starting to hold up.

No, it hasn't been a plan, a team plan or an individual plan for David. I think they bowled really well early. They bowled nice and straight, back of the length, where the ball was just skidding quite low to start with, and to myself, as well, they just didn't give us any width to get away or any length to really work with, either over the top or get a drive away. Their bowling plans were pretty simple but really effective on a wicket like that.

Q. Aaron, I know it's unlike you to be one for excuses, but you had to play your third game of the World Cup a few days after a tough second game. India had the delayed start, only playing their second game today. How much of an impact do you think that has? What do you make of that?
AARON FINCH: No, I don't think it makes any difference, to be honest. I actually like playing games quite quickly, particularly when you get on a bit of a roll in a tournament. Before you know it, you can be three or four wins really quickly, and on the other side, if you start off poorly in that quick run of games, before you know it, you can be three or four losses, as well. So I think that's really important that you -- whichever way you start off, and we started off really well in the tournament with a couple of wins. It's just a small hiccup.

The scheduling has no bearing on that whatsoever, I think. Everyone was fresh, everyone was 100 per cent fit, available for selection, and available to play. Absolutely I like how the schedule is going so far, personally.

Q. How different do you think the Indians played Adam Zampa? You were forced not to completely score tough overs. What differently did Indians do compared to the series in India, and also there was some controversy regarding some pictures came out on Twitter about he put his hand in the pocket and there was some allegation that you were using something external. Could you just clarify that part?
AARON FINCH: I haven't seen the photos, but I know that he has hand warmers in his pocket. He has them every single game he plays. I honestly haven't seen them, so I can't comment too much on it. But I know for a fact that he has hand warmers every game. And I think he just started his spell poorly today, which gave them an opportunity to get on top of him, and when you're bowling to world-class players and they get on top of you early, it can be quite hard to come back, and for us not to be able to get wickets through that period, as well, through that middle overs, he never had the chance to really bowl at a new batter a hell of a lot, which probably was the difference in the Indian series where we managed to get some wickets up front and there would be an opportunity that he could really go to work on a new batter.

Today that just didn't happen, and as a legspinner, it's an incredibly tough craft. It's the hardest thing to do in the game. So you can forgive him for not having his best day out once every now and then. He's been exceptional for us for quite a long time now, since he's come back into the side. So yeah, I'm not concerned about that.

Q. Was Steve coming out to bat today, was that purely a left-hander, right-hander kind of thing?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, everyone is aware that we can chop and change, depending on conditions, and there was a really strong breeze going one way on the ground, and also with their spin combinations, it was important that we had the availability for left and right, as well, so we could keep attacking. There's not a real lot of time to be playing out too many overs and waiting for your opportunity, chasing a total like that. Yeah, that could happen a bit more often, especially on a surface like that that's started to really slow up and spin quite a bit.

Q. I just wanted to ask, you referred to the used pitch more than once. Did it play the way you expected it to?
AARON FINCH: It played how we expected. Like I said, at the toss we would have batted first. We felt as though it was going to slow up and turn a little bit more as the game went on, so we were absolutely prepared for that. We probably just let them get a few too many runs, and like I said before, when you're chasing a total, a lot of things have to go right. You have to have an in-batter go really deep and a few cameos around that player, as well, and we just kept losing wickets at crucial times, unfortunately.

Q. It was another case of the ball hitting the stumps and the bails not coming off; that's five times in the tournament. Is that becoming an issue for you?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, I think so. It wasn't -- we were on the right end of it today, but I think going forward, you want -- it's a bit unfair at times, isn't it. And I know David was -- hit the stumps pretty hard. But it does seem to be happening more and more, which is unfortunate, because you'd hate to see something like that happen in a World Cup final or a semifinal or something like that that you've done the hard work as a bowler or a fielding side to set a player up or get the mistake and it not be rewarded. There may be something, but I'm not sure what you can do. I don't know how much lighter they can make the bails.

Q. Considering the age of the surfaces like this, you could face more of this. Does having Coulter-Nile and Stoinis on that pitch a bit of a problem, the way they bowl? Would you be looking at some other options for Coulter-Nile?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, like I said before, we'll assess every option, which we do for each game. We know Pakistan is going to have quite a few left-handers in their side, but you don't know. It's hard to comment on it until you see the wicket, and there haven't been a huge amount of games at Taunton to get a read on what the wicket is going to look like, either. We assess every option every game.

Q. Just in terms of your run-out, was it a mix-up or a bit of hesitation? You were pretty frustrated to get out.
AARON FINCH: I'm frustrated every run-out.

Q. Was it a mix-up?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, a bit of a mix-up, yeah. That was both our faults, to be fair. Just one of those things that happen. There's 10 ways to get out, and that's the worst one of them all.

Q. The crowd, were you surprised at how few Australians there seemed to be, and how imposing was that atmosphere?
AARON FINCH: No, I wasn't surprised. India have amazing support everywhere they go everywhere around the world. Their fans are very vocal. They're great to play in front of because they provide so much atmosphere. They're passionate about the game. And being on the other side of it, it's not ideal, but at the end of the day, no matter where you play, you can play in Melbourne, you can play in Hobart, they're always going to outnumber you. They are so loud, and they're a happy crowd. They appreciate good cricket. Obviously they're there to watch India do well, but they appreciate really good cricket, and when they're playing their music and chants are going up, it's a pretty great atmosphere to be a part of, when you win. (Laughter).

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