ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
'Huge anxiety': Finch on World Cup fear
Victorian plays down his chances of regaining his Test spot and discusses how he feared being dropped for the World Cup
1 May 2019, 04:35 PM AEST
One-day captain Aaron Finch believes his chances of playing Test cricket again "have probably slipped away", adding he had feared being left out of Australia’s World Cup squad during his recent run of poor form.
Finch had a turbulent 2018-19 season, with the high of a maiden Test campaign and being named Australia’s ODI skipper off-set by his axing from the Test side in January and an extended run of low scores.
Having enjoyed the past month away from the game, the 32-year-old says his Test summer has taught him the value of not over-training, but concedes he “probably won’t get that chance again” in the Baggy Green.
"My chances to play Test cricket again have probably slipped away," he said during a wide-ranging interview on Melbourne radio station SEN.
"I’m still very grateful for the opportunity and (while) I would change the results, I wouldn’t change the journey and the learning that I’ve had from it.
"I never take optional (training) sessions off. I’ve always had a fear that if I don’t go and I fail, what would have happened if I did go? But if I did or didn’t go, it probably wouldn’t change my performance. But I don’t want to ever leave that to chance.
"Looking back now, it’d be a lot easier to make that decision (to not go to every training session). It’s just unfortunate that I probably won’t get that chance again.
"You have to trust not over-training. I never missed a training session, I went to every optional training session. I think at times, looking back, it would have been better to go and play 18 holes (of golf) and put the phone away."
Having passed 30 in all four innings of his maiden Test campaign against Pakistan last October, Finch managed more than 25 just once in six innings at home against India’s relentless pace attack before he was dropped for the final Test of the series.
Despite downplaying his own chances of ever wearing the Baggy Green again, Finch says he’s come to terms with how he performed in his first chance at Test level.
"I gave it everything I could, and I didn’t leave any stone unturned,” he said.
"Reality was, the Indian bowlers were better than me at the time. Whether that’d be the case in 12 months’ time or five years later, we won’t know. But they were better than me, I can live with that. I’m OK with being beaten on the day if I’ve prepared as well as I can."
Finch’s focus is now firmly on Australia’s World Cup defense, which gets underway in Bristol against Afghanistan a month from now.
Despite being his country’s captain and one of the most accomplished one-day batsmen in the world, the opener admitted he felt “huge anxiety” as recently as two months ago when a run of nine ODI innings without a fifty had cast some doubt over his place in the side.
He secured his spot with two hundreds and two scores in the 90s on the recent ODI tour of Asia, but says the prospect of being dropped for the World Cup was very real in his mind.
"(I was feeling) huge anxiety based on a World Cup coming up, being captain of the side and not having the output I wanted," he said.
"I was getting really frustrated that, again, I was preparing and doing everything I thought I could to succeed but it just wasn’t happening. I don’t know why.
"It was probably just my own mindset, I was starting to think a bit negatively.
"The support I got from the players and coaches was unbelievable, but still in the back of your mind you think: ‘there’s a World Cup not far away, as a captain of the side I could be left out’. Then you start putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to perform.
"(Recent good form) just re-assured me that I still am a pretty good player. You don’t lose your skill overnight."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton
May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE