Australia might have been battered 5-0 in the one-day international series in England, but Aaron Finch, their T20I captain, believes when it comes to the World Cup, it’s England who have more to worry about.
“I don’t think when we turn up next year for the World Cup there’ll be any mental scars there,” said Finch. “There are probably more for England, to be fair. They haven’t won a World Cup and it’s at home so no doubt the pressure will be huge on them.”
The two sides clash in a one-off T20I on Wednesday June 27, and Australia are desperate to end a miserable tour on a high. “In the one-day format, the confidence was definitely affected,” he said. “England put us on the back foot from the word go and we weren’t able to catch up.
“But we’ve had success in this format, from seventh in the world to first or second, which is a great achievement, and [we] did it with mixed-and-matched teams. We’re getting more settled. The confidence took a hit in the one-dayers but I don’t think there will be anything to worry about in this format.”
Australia have reason to be confident – they won the Trans-Tasman T20I Tri-Series earlier this year, beating both England and New Zealand. However, there have been changes since then, what with the ball-tampering scandal in March.
Apart from missing six first-choice players for this series, Australia will also play under a new captain – David Warner captaining them to the trans-Tasman title.
“We’ve played really good T20 cricket over the last little while,” Finch said. “That was with Davey [Warner] as skipper in the T20 tri-series but we’ve got a pretty similar group and the guys are playing some really good cricket in that format. It’s probably a format the guys have played a lot more of in the last 12 months, with Big Bash and IPL and things like that.
“It’s just about trying to get some continuity over the next six games and really start to develop a core squad that we can take forward almost with one eye on the 2020 World Cup at home.”
Finch has captained both the ODI and T20I teams before, but on one-off occasions. Australia are set to play Zimbabwe and Pakistan in a T20I tri-series in Harare next month, giving Finch an opportunity to nail a place down as captain of the side.
“When I had the job last it was one game here and there tacked on to a long tour and it would almost be a heap of guys that ship out and a couple of guys would come in to just play one game here and there,” he said.
“So I think the amount of T20 that’s coming up, most of them are three-game series against other countries. It’s going to be a great opportunity for guys to start to really cement their spot, put their hand up and be the one going forward in their position and just get some continuity with selection and playing more games.”