In December 2018, when India toured Australia for the Border Gavaskar series, batsman Aaron Finch was in perhaps the worst form of his career. In the 3 Tests he played in the series, Finch could only manage 97 runs in 6 innings at an average of 16.16.
In the ODI series that followed the Tests, Finch, who is the Australian One-Day captain, had an even worse time, collecting a mere 26 runs in 3 matches at a horrible average of 8.66. His misery didn’t just end there. When Australia toured India for a 5-match series in March 2019, Finch could collect only 157 runs in 5 matches at a paltry average of 31.40. He was struggling against the ball coming in and regularly getting out to seamers.Embed from Getty Images
With the World Cup just months away, the Australian fans and selectors were in a fix as their captain and most crucial top-order batsman were struggling with form.
But then the turnaround happened.
In Australia’s tour to the U.A.E. in late March where they played Pakistan for a 5-match ODI series, Finch was the highest scorer of the series with 451 runs in 5 innings at an average of 112.75 with two hundred and two fifties. Finch had scores of 116, 153*, 90, 39 and 53 in the five matches. He was fluent and scored at a strike-rate of 85.90. His performance was one of the main reasons for Australia sweeping the series 5-0 comprehensively.
This was just the kind of boost Finch needed before the World Cup. He had now carried over his form to the big tournament and making a statement with his bat just when his team needed it the most. In the five matches that Finch has played so far in the World Cup, he has garnered 343 runs at a terrific average of 68.60 with one hundred and two fifties. Finch only failed against the West Indies where he was caught for 6. Barring that, he has had scores of 66 v Afghanistan, 36 v India, 82 v Pakistan and 153 v Sri Lanka.Embed from Getty Images
He has been clinical and dominating and has been striking the ball cleanly. Always known to be an aggressive batsman, Finch has taken the initiative from early on and has launched a calculative attack on the bowlers, striking at 110.64 so far.
Finch’s form in the World Cup will come as a massive relief to the fans and team management. He can pile on massive scores and ultimately take the game away from the opposition. With Australia looking to defend their crown, they would need their captain and most impactful top-order batsman to continue his excellent form throughout the tournament.
Australia has four more games to play and right now is in a good position at the points table. A few more good knock by captain Aaron Finch and they will sail into the semis and might well go on to even defend their crown.