Australia have been left with “nowhere to hide” in their ODI series against England, according to their vice-captain, Aaron Finch.
Another defeat, this time in Durham, left Australia four-down with one to play in the Royal London series, and Finch admitted it felt as if his side was “always chasing the game”.
And although Finch scored a century in the match, he accepted that his failure to build on that platform cost Australia, while the inexperience in his side’s attack resulted in them making “the same mistakes”.
“I probably left a heap of runs out there,” Finch said as he reflected on his dismissal one ball after becoming the first man to register six ODI centuries against England. “I had a good partnership with Shaun Marsh but for me to get out just past 100 was disappointing.
“It would have been nice to cash in and get 140 or 150 and put the pressure on them to take risks in the middle overs. We could have really kicked on and put foot the foot down in that last 12-13 overs. I take full responsibility for us not getting 330-340.”
England captain Eoin Morgan played down the pressure of accomplishing a 5-0 whitewash against Australia ahead of their final ODI in Manchester
Finch also admitted he “could have been more aggressive” against the bowling of Joe Root. Root, a part-time off-spinner, came on in the first Powerplay and bowled his entire allocation of overs – only the second time he has done so in a 112-match ODI career – straight through with Finch and co. only managing two boundaries against him. In all, Root conceded just 44 runs.
“We could have been more aggressive, no doubt,” Finch said. “But the way we wanted to structure things is to be a bit more conservative with wickets in hand.
“The way the wind was blowing, even if you took him on and hit it in the middle, I still couldn’t get the ball over the ropes. He was bowling round the wicket, angling the ball across, using the breeze and getting a bit of spin. So sweeping was high-risk, and trying to hit over the top was ultra high-risk. He bowled very well.
“I struggled with the timing for the first 10, 12, 15 overs and couldn’t get them away as I like.”
Despite his own regrets, Finch felt Australia’s final total of 310 was “probably around the mark”. But he also suggested the inexperience of Australia’s attack – and the excellence of England’s batting – was rendering it hard to defend even apparently high totals. This was, after all, England’s second-highest successful ODI run-chase.
“The bowlers are still learning,” Finch said. “They are a young and inexperienced attack and in the past few games we’ve made the same mistakes. That’s something we need to look at. We need to commit to our plans for longer.
“But the way England are playing with the bat is putting a lot of pressure on our young attack. They’re coming hard. And it’s showing a little with our bowlers being a bit too wide or a bit too full at different times. And not hanging in there and making them hit really good shots off really good balls for long enough.
“We are always chasing the game at the moment and it is tough for them. There’s nowhere to hide in this game. We are playing the best in the world.
“The tone England are setting in one-day cricket is the benchmark in the world. They’re playing like the No.1 side in the world for a reason. They’re full of confidence and have a lot of depth in their batting. They have confidence to know that their Nos. 6, 7, 8 or 9 can get the job done even if things don’t go well at the top of the order. They’ve a pretty good blueprint.
“We have to stick to our strengths and find a way to stick in contests for longer. Once we find the formula I think it’ll turn for us pretty quickly. These lessons will be valuable going forward.”