New Delhi, Nov 7: Former Australian cricketer Aaron Finch feels that Australia have found what they were missing earlier on in the tournament – their energy in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, ahead of their clash against Afghanistan on Tuesday.
After losing the first two matches of the first two games, Australia bounced back with five consecutive wins. They are positioned second on the points table and will look to add more strength to their chances for semi-final position.
“The last five games, in particular, there has been a lot more energy in the field and to me that's always a sign that a team is really up to the contest. Energy plays a huge role in the success of a team and that is what has contributed to the success of Australia,” wrote Aaron Finch in ICC Column.
They are a very good cricket team and what they have brought with their energy is second to none. They are obviously a highly skilled team. They still perhaps rely on their spinners quite a bit but the thing that I've loved is that they have been consistent with their batting.
The one question mark for me was if they had to chase runs. In the past, it would tend to be a bit shaky at times and they could falter but at this World Cup, they have been flawless in chases,” he added.
However, Finch expects Australia's top order to score more runs and add their contribution to the team.
England has been dominant over Australia in recent years, but there is a shift in their performance. England has some great players, including Jos Buttler, who will be among the best in the format. However, they have not performed well at the World Cup.
“I don’t think Australia will really care that they have knocked England out, that’s more one for the fans than anything else. Australia came here with the aim of winning the World Cup and it’s not about which teams you beat, it is about making the semi-final as the first real tick. Australia will just be satisfied to be one step closer,” said Finch
Finch was highly impressed with leg-spinner Adam Zampa and credits him for Australia’s success in overseas conditions. “Zampa was outstanding again for Australia,” said Finch. Finch finds Zampa as one of the premier white-ball spinners across the format.
“With spin, half the battle is knowing when to bowl your variations based on reading the batters and the conditions. He is bowling so beautifully at the moment and he has taken so many crucial wickets. That has shone through in his unbelievable consistency, taking at least three wickets in five consecutive games. He has been probably the premier white-ball spinner for a couple of years across the two white-ball formats around the world, so this is really good recognition of the skill of his craft.”
Zampa is the second leading wicket taker in ODI World Cup 2023 with 19 wickets in seven games.
Finch also shared his insights on the game against Afghanistan and said, much relies on how Australian pacers take the benefit of Wankhede pitch.
“I think it will be the pace bowlers who will have more of a say. They are playing at the Wankhede, which probably plays into Australia's hands. It is a really good cricket wicket; it helps pace a little bit more than it does spin. It bounces traditionally which can make it very good for batting once you get in, but it can be a difficult place to start your innings, said Finch.
As Australia prepare for the game, they will inevitably think about what is riding on the game and know a win will guarantee qualification for the knockout stages.
“If Australia qualify for the semi-finals against Afghanistan, they will likely face South Africa, and I think they have what it takes to beat them.
The Proteas’ loss against India will have given a lot of teams confidence that if they get it right, they can be all over South Africa,” concluded Finch. (IANS)