Sri Lanka v Australia T20Is - Men
The texts from Warner that helped Finch bounce back
In the midst of a extended 'lean patch', a couple of text messages from opening partner David Warner during the IPL may have sparked the Aussie skipper's return to form
8 June 2022, 12:31 PM AEST
Aaron Finch always had faith he would bounce back from an extended "lean patch", and it appears his opening partner David Warner did too.
After the pair both smashed half-centuries to lead Australia to a dominant 10-wicket win in the T20 series opener against Sri Lanka last night, Warner revealed the text messages he sent the Aussie skipper during the Indian Premier League that may have helped spark his return to form.
Finch has now hit consecutive half-centuries in T20 internationals, but it was a run of low scores in the IPL between those two knocks that had him under pressure ahead of Australia's T20 World Cup defence on home soil in October-November.
The 35-year-old managed just 86 runs at 17.20 in five matches for Kolkata Knight Riders in this year's tournament, while in the 12 months prior to last night's first T20, Finch was averaging 19.90 with a strike-rate of 107 in 21 innings across both limited-overs formats, including scores of 23, 0 and 0 during the three-match ODI series against Pakistan in March-April.
"I just kept in touch with him, we always do," Warner told reporters after the match.
"We always support each other as much as we can. If we see little things, we always try help each other out by dropping him a message."
Prone to getting out lbw throughout his career, including consecutive innings for a duck in Pakistan, Warner said Finch was moving into the line of the delivery too much and it was hindering his access to the ball.
"I just said to him not to walk out into the ball, let the ball actually do its work in the air," Warner said.
"And if they want to bowl nice and full and you stay still and keep that leg stump line, you're going to get full contact with the ball, and if it swings late, it's going to go down leg.
"He was probably moving a little too much, he was walking straight into the line of the ball and was still moving at the time of the delivery, and when you're a batter you don't want to really do that unless you're actually physically charging.
"For Finchy, it's about keeping it simple and not moving too much around the crease.
"We saw that tonight, he played some nice shots, he timed the ball well and when he's nice and still, that's when he's at his best.
"He looked to hit everything down the ground (in the first T20), when the ball was in his area, he hit his slog sweeps which he is very good at … and you could just see the energy was a lot different with him running between wickets and he was up and about, and it was great to see."
Before departing for Sri Lanka, Finch also told reporters he had been fiddling with his technique in an effort to recapture his best form.
"I think my technique started to get a little bit too open," Finch said in Melbourne last month.
"When you're worried about the ball swinging back into your front pad, you can tend to open up which then has a bit of a flow-on effect.
"I just lost the ability to transfer my weight back through the ball … but (I'm working on) squaring up my technique (through) my hips and shoulders and feet."
Finch finished unbeaten on 61 from 40 balls, while Warner was 70 not out as Australia chased down Sri Lanka's 128 all out with six overs to spare.
Warner's average in his past five T20I innings against the island nation is 352, which includes his top international T20 score of 100 not out, but the opener said he treats Sri Lanka the same as any other team.
"I think I've just been fortunate enough to have that upper edge," he said.
"I just try and start as well as I can, hit the ball into the gaps and run hard.
"It's great to be on top of it but I know at some stage it's going to ebb and flow so while I'm going so well, I've got to try and keep the momentum going for the entire series."
Australia, minus Mitchell Starc who has been ruled out with a finger injury, are back in action tonight at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in the second T20I of the three-match series, which will be broadcast live on Foxtel and Kayo at 11.30pm AEST.
Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka, 2022
Sri Lanka T20 squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Nuwanidu Fernando, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lakshan Sandakan. Standby: Jeffrey Vandersay, Niroshan Dickwella
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Matthew Wade
June 7: First T20, Colombo, 11.30pm AEST
June 11: Third T20, Kandy, 11.30pm AEST
Sri Lanka ODI squad (provisional): Dasun Shanaka (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya De Silva, Ashen Bandara, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Janith Liyanage, Dunith Wellalage, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Sahan Arachchi, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Madushanka, Ramesh Mendis, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Jeffrey Vandersay, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 14: First ODI, Kandy, 7pm AEST
June 16: Second ODI, Kandy, 7pm AEST
June 19: Third ODI, Colombo, 7pm AEST
June 21: Fourth ODI, Colombo, 7pm AEST
June 24: Fifth ODI, Colombo, 7pm AEST
Sri Lanka Test squad (provisional): Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Mohamed Shiraz, Shiran Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lakshitha Rasanjana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suminda Lakshan
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 29 - July 3: First Test, Galle, 2.30pm AEST
July 8-12: Second Test, Galle, 2.30pm AEST
All Sri Lanka v Australia international fixtures will be screened live on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports
Australia A fixtures
Australia A squad: Scott Boland, Aaron Hardie, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nic Maddinson, Todd Murphy, Jimmy Peirson, Josh Philippe, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, Mark Steketee
Sri Lanka A one-day squad: Dhananjaya de Silva (c), Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Udara, Lasith Croospulle, Oshada Fernando, Pabasara Waduge, Kamindu Mendis, Ashen Bandara, Janitha Liyanage, Sahan Arachchi, Pulina Tharanga, Dunith Wellalage, Dananjaya Lakshan, Shiran Fernando (will not play due to injury), Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Nishan Madushka, Ashen Daniel, Nisala Tharaka
June 8: First one-day game v Sri Lanka A, Colombo
June 10: Second one-day game v Sri Lanka A, Colombo
June 14-17: first-class tour match v Sri Lanka A, Hambantota
June 21-24: first-class tour match v Sri Lanka A, Hambantota