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‘England are setting a one-day benchmark for the world’ – Aaron Finch

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Australia vice-captain Aaron Finch says his side have been left with “nowhere to hide” in their ODI series against England as they face up to a potential ODI whitewash against the old enemy.

Thursday’s defeat in Durham left the visitors four-down in the Royal London series with one to play, and despite Australia’s fine start with the bat in the fourth ODI – Finch scored a century, becoming the first man to register six ODI centuries against England – the opener admitted his side were “always chasing the game”.

Aaron Finch bats during the 4th Royal London ODI between England and AustraliaFinch partly blamed himself for failing to cash-in after reaching triple figures. “I probably left a heap of runs out there,” Finch said after the match. “I had a good partnership with Shaun Marsh, but for me to get out just past 100 was disappointing.

“It would have been nice to cash in and get 140 or 150 and put the pressure on them to take risks in the middle overs. We could have really kicked on and put the foot down in that last 12-13 overs. I take full responsibility for us not getting 330-340.”

Joe Root bowled his full allotted overs in the fourth ODI between England and Australia

Part-time off-spinner Joe Root came on in the Powerplay and surprisingly bowled his full allocation of overs, conceding just 44 runs from 10, and Finch admitted his side could have been more ambitious against England’s Test skipper.

“We could have been more aggressive, no doubt,” Finch said. “But the way we wanted to structure things is to be a bit more conservative with wickets in hand.

“The way the wind was blowing, even if you took him on and hit it in the middle, I still couldn’t get the ball over the ropes. He was bowling round the wicket, angling the ball across, using the breeze and getting a bit of spin. So, sweeping was high-risk, and trying to hit over the top was ultra-high-risk. He bowled very well. I struggled with the timing for the first 10, 12, 15 overs and couldn’t get them away.”

Jason Roy celebrates reaching his century with Jonathan Bairstow

Such is their form, England made light work of their second-highest successful ODI run-chase, despite Finch going into the break believing Australia’s total of 310 was “probably around the mark”.

Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy put on a sensational 174-run opening stand in a game where both side’s top-order fired, and a fourth victory prompted a beaming England captain Eoin Morgan to admit that his side have found “a new gear or level of intensity.”

Despite England’s supremacy, however, Australia’s ODI vice-captain feels his bowlers need to execute their plans more thoroughly. “The bowlers are still learning,” Finch said. “They are a young and inexperienced attack and in the past few games we’ve made the same mistakes. That’s something we need to look at. We need to commit to our plans for longer.

Australia are 4-0 down in the five-ODI series in England

Australia are 4-0 down in the five-match ODI series in England

“But the way England are playing with the bat is putting a lot of pressure on our young attack. They’re coming hard. And it’s showing a little with our bowlers being a bit too wide or a bit too full at different times. And not hanging in there and making them hit really good shots off really good balls for long enough.

“We are always chasing the game at the moment and it is tough for them. There’s nowhere to hide in this game. We are playing the best in the world.

England have the opportunity to secure a 5-0 series whitewash

“The tone England are setting in one-day cricket is the benchmark in the world. They’re playing like the No.1 side in the world for a reason. They’re full of confidence and have a lot of depth in their batting. They have confidence to know that their Nos. 6, 7, 8 or 9 can get the job done even if things don’t go well at the top of the order. They’ve a pretty good blueprint.

“We have to stick to our strengths and find a way to stick in contests for longer. Once we find the formula I think it’ll turn for us pretty quickly. These lessons will be valuable going forward.”

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