Gillette ODI Series v India
Finch not distracted by form slump
Australia’s ODI skipper discusses the challenges of leadership as he looks to rediscover his best with the bat
16 January 2019, 10:20 AM AEST
Australia skipper Aaron Finch has pointed to the importance of maintaining his leadership qualities amid a form slump.
The opener is under pressure after a lean run, having contributed 12 runs in the opening two matches of Gillette one-day series against India.
Finch was dropped from Australia’s Test side after scoring 97 runs at 16.16 in three Tests at the top of the order against India, while he made 57 runs in three games in November’s ODI series against South Africa.
With Steve Smith and David Warner suspended, the experienced Finch is a crucial member of Australia’s limited-overs teams and a proven performer with 11 ODI centuries to his name.
But, speaking after Australia’s loss to India in Adelaide on Tuesday, Finch said it was essential not to let his form with the bat affect his captaincy.
“It’s always tough when you’re not getting runs personally,” Finch said.
“Batting’s separate to captaincy and leading out on the field. It’s about everyone trying to learn together and trying to get the best out of the players on the field.
“Obviously that can be a bit easier when you’re scoring runs and leading by example, but there’s other times when it doesn’t always work out for you, so you have to be consistent with your actions and the way that you go about it.”
In contrast, India counterpart Virat Kohli thumped 104 from 112 balls at Adelaide Oval to spearhead the visiting side’s successful run chase.
Finch’s last one-day century came against England away from home in June and he is one of only two Australians to post three figures in the 50-over format in the past seven months – the other being Shaun Marsh, who has plundered four tons from his past eight ODI innings.
Australia coach Justin Langer backed Finch to rediscover his best.
“There’s not a lot of players who play all three forms of the game now,” Langer said.
“This is brand new territory for him. He’s playing all three forms of the game, he’s also captain of the white ball teams, playing Test cricket.
“He won’t be far off. When he gets going, he scores hundreds.
“He’s working so hard on it, he just needs a few breaks.
“Every now and then you need a little break, and he’ll be away again.”
Australia appeared on track to post a total well beyond 300 in Tuesday’s ODI before they lost 4-3 at the back end of the innings.
They reached 9-298, with India sealing a series-levelling victory with four balls to spare.
“No one means to get out,” Finch said.
“What we’ve been working towards is some real solid performances through the middle overs.
“The power plays are the area we have to get right and I’m responsible for that, opening the batting and being captain of the side (and) not getting enough runs of late.
“It’s just one of those things. Once it all clicks, I think that 330 – scores like that – will be on the cards.”
Gillette ODI Series v India
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
First ODI: Australia won by 34 runs
Second ODI: India win by six wickets
Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)