HATCHING A PLAN
Finch is primarily concerned about the combinations required to play in India © BCCI
Australia and World Cups.
It’s the time they thrive. Even when they’re completely battered, beaten down, and have redefined rockbottom like they did in Newlands, they find a way. Prior to the 2019 men’s World Cup, they were a team rebuilding from the rubble. They had been battered by England in ODIs, by India in their own backyard. But the World Cup on the horizon, they overturned a 0-2 deficit to India and began purring once more.
Aaron Finch’s side then finished second in the group stages of the tournament before bowing out to eventual champions England in the semifinal. The Australia skipper is already plotting ways to reclaim the lost throne in the next edition in India in 2023.
“I’m a cricket nuffy so you are always thinking about it, especially being captain. I’m looking forward to the 2023 50-over World Cup in India,” Finch told SEN Radio. “In the 50-over space, it’s about working back from that 2023 World Cup and really getting a detailed plan of how we think we’ll have to win it, what’s the structure of the side we’ll need in India. Is it going to be two spinners, is it going to be an extra allrounder and kind of work back from there.”
Finch is primarily concerned about the combinations required to play in India, and the need for a top-class spinner who can shoulder the workload for the entire event. He also emphasizes the importance of grooming players in terms of situations of pressure rather than skill, which he reckons should be a given, going into an event as crucial as the World Cup. Ergo, the Australian captain’s first mission is to create a pool of seasoned players to choose from in the next couple of years.
“We need to work out what resources we’ll need in terms of players. If there’s someone new we identify who could perhaps have a big impact, how many games can we get into them over the next two and a half years to make sure they have enough experience so that in a high-pressure semi-final you aren’t going in hoping they’ll do well, you know they have the form and enough experience behind them to make sure they are comfortable with the international level,” said Finch, determined to form a seasoned team for the big event in 2023.
“It’s either working out what the 15, or say 25 players now, what that looks like, whether it matches our game plan going forward, or do we pick the side the other way round with a game plan in mind and adapt it that way.
“It’s not rocket science, it’s going through data, and a bit of gut instinct of what you feel will be the trends of one-day cricket. Will it be 400, or will it be that 320-mark with some wearing pitches in India and a couple of spinners in your side?”
Australia’s last ODI series versus New Zealand was aborted midway due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there has been no international cricket since, as the virus has wreaked havoc across continents.