‘Blows my mind’: Finch’s blunt message to critics ahead of must-win T20 World Cup clash

Home » ‘Blows my mind’: Finch’s blunt message to critics ahead of must-win T20 World Cup clash
‘Blows my mind’: Finch’s blunt message to critics ahead of must-win T20 World Cup clash

Aaron Finch says criticism of Pat Cummins has blown his mind as pressure intensifies on the under-fire skipper to keep his place in the side.

The hosts take on England on Friday night in a virtual elimination final, with the loser needing a miracle to sneak into the final four of the T20 World Cup.

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Aaron Finch celebrated the win over Sri Lanka even though he was far from his best. Picture: James Worsfold/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The Aussies should welcome back spinner Adam Zampa after he was ruled out of their recent win over Sri Lanka due to Covid-19, but all the focus is on Finch after his scratchy performance on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old finished unbeaten on 31 as Marcus Stoinis went ballistic to get Australia home, but Finch’s strike rate of 73.80 was the lowest by a batter to have faced 40 or more deliveries in T20 World Cup history.

It’s led to cricket legend Allan Border suggesting Steve Smith should replace the out-of-form opener, while plenty of other critics have said it’s time for Finch to retire.

“Everyone has got their opinion, that’s fine. I’ve got no issues with what people’s personal opinions are. I don’t read or listen to any of it,” a defiant Finch said in response to Border’s comments.

“I don’t feel any more pressure than I ever have. The only pressure is the expectation you put on yourself, and I think that’s what comes with a decent player in a good side.

“You put pressure on yourself to perform because you want the team to win. The other day, I was slightly off, but that can happen.”

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Wet weather has already wreaked havoc in the tournament, costing England any chance of victory over Ireland, and more rain is predicted to fall in Melbourne on Friday.

It’s why Finch will need to be a lot more proactive with the bat as he looks to bounce back from a first ball duck from the last time Australia played England earlier this month.

The opener didn’t need to go wild given how well Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell batted, and Finch said his innings would have looked a lot better with a bit of luck.

“I think it’s an anomaly out of my career,” he said as he prepares to take on the extreme pace of Mark Wood.

“It’s just one of those days. I hit a really nice pull shot straight to a fielder early and then an off-drive in the same over straight to a fielder. I felt as though I was playing quite well.

“Once Maxi started to get away, I probably just went into my shell and looked to get off strike rather than still hitting good shots to a man in the deep. I was probably one or two boundaries away from being a run a ball, and it looks a bit different.

“I still feel like I’m playing pretty well.”

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Finch is stunned by criticism of Pat Cummins. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Former Australian batter Mark Waugh described Finch’s innings against Sri Lanka as “torturous” and called for selectors to bring in Cameron Green in place of Test captain Pat Cummins.

The speedster has taken one wicket for 82 runs in the first two games, but Finch scoffed at calls that he should be dropped.

“His numbers over the last 18 months have been outstanding in T20 cricket,” he said.

“It blows my mind sometimes where people go with selection chat. He’s been unbelievable over all three formats for a long time. The calmness he brings to the bowling group and the experience, it’s invaluable.”

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