ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Finch prepared for bouncer barrage
Australia believe they have the tactics and mindset required to combat the Windies tonight
Louis Cameron In Nottingham
6 June 2019, 01:31 PM AEST
Australia are gearing up for a volley of bouncers from the West Indies, who believe their opponents' willingness to take on short-pitched bowling could play into their hands on Thursday.
Few things conjure as much excitement among cricket fans like high-quality fast bowling and the lead-in to the Australia-Windies World Cup clash at Trent Bridge has been dominated by anticipation of it.
The reigning 50-over world champions boast one of the fastest bowling attacks in ODI cricket, while the Windies are again likely to roll out a five-pronged pace attack featuring speedsters Andre Russell, O'Shane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell.
West Indies successfully bombarded Pakistan with bumpers to notch a comprehensive win in their Cup opener last week, also played in Nottingham, while Australia got a taste of what may be to come in a warm-up game against them last month.
"It is obviously going to be a tactic of theirs and a plan," said Finch. "We will be as well prepared as we can be.
"We played them in a practice game down in Southampton and they bowled very similar. They had a lot of success with it last game and got off to a really good start, so I expect that they will come with a similar type plan.
"Over the last little while we have been aware that teams are going to use it a lot more and that is one of our plans, so we have been facing a lot of it in the nets as well.
"We're well and truly prepared, no doubt."
Brad Haddin earlier this week suggested the Aussies wouldn't hesitate to give the Windies some of their own medicine back to them, with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile all capable of ruffling feathers.
Carlos Brathwaite labelled Australians "the masters of mental disintegration", but the Windies allrounder might have been playing mind games of his own when discussing how his team might use the short ball against a side that traditionally handles it well.
"We’ve been hearing the talk of bouncer this and bouncer that, but it’s always been a part of cricket," said Brathwaite.
"Obviously no one likes a ball 140-145kph at your head.
"Some batsmen are traditionally good (at playing the bouncer), some batsmen traditionally not so much, but there’s a saying in the Caribbean that people that can’t swim don’t drown.
"So maybe the person that can play the short ball better may be more susceptible and the ones that are more expectant of it may be more wary and, as a result, not take it on so much."
But both Brathwaite and Finch suggested the bouncer will be less of a wicket-taking ball and more of a set-up tactic.
Pacemen are restricted to two balls over the shoulder per over in ODIs, and while the Windies plan to use their allotment most overs, Brathwaite suggested it will be the other four deliveries that are the most important.
"I think, as much as it was mentioned against Pakistan about our bouncers … the most important thing is the balls that accompany the other four balls in the over," Brathwaite said.
Finch added: "The follow up to short balls and bouncers is the key, I reckon.
"If you just stick to one plan, then teams adjust to you quick enough.
"That goes for us as well. If you do go with a short plan, keep them on the hook, keep them guessing with good bowling."
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, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
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
Sync Australia's World Cup schedule to your calendar HERE
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE