Australia skipper Aaron Finch confirmed the make-up of Australia’s playing eleven ahead of their opening match in Super 12 against South Africa here on Saturday. Though Finch did not reveal the players in the eleven, he gave a rough idea of how the eleven would look with all-rounders Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis set to play among seven batters and four bowlers.
“We’re going with seven batters and four specialist bowlers, including the all-rounders. We’ve got a lot of confidence in the depth of our squad. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Maxwell, Stoinis, and Marsh to be able to bowl in four overs as well just to — just as a chop out. We think that on these wickets in these conditions, that they can do a really good job and be an attacking option as much as anything,” said Finch in the pre-match press conference on Friday.
Finch was supportive of his opening partner David Warner finding form despite registering scores of 0,2, 0, and 1 from two IPL outings as well as warm-up matches in the UAE. “I’m backing Dave’s ability. I’m backing his judgment. I think, if you look at his World Cup history, he’s just bloody good. Would he have liked more runs? Absolutely. Everyone would like more runs all the time. He’s one of the greatest players that Australia has ever produced, and I’ve got no doubts that come Game 1 he’ll be up and firing and ready to go.”
Finch himself has been short of game time after a knee surgery ruled him out of the T20I series against Bangladesh. Speaking about how he feels ahead of the tournament opener, Finch said, “I’m feeling really good. The knee is feeling great. It’s feeling a bit better than what I thought it would at this stage, to be honest. To be able to play those first two warmup games against New Zealand and India was crucial, I think. To get a few in the middle was nice.”
The lack of runs from Finch and Warner means that Australia will have to make the most out of power-play in the tournament, especially when pitches are slow in the UAE. “Even though it’s different surfaces to what the IPL used, we saw the impact that it had. The teams that won the powerplay, that went a long way to winning the game as the wickets deteriorated.”
“I think the wickets first off here in the tournament will start off a little bit better and probably be a little more consistent throughout that 40 overs. As it gets a bit more traffic and the tournament gets a bit deeper, that might slow up and spin a little bit more. The powerplay is going to be crucial, no doubt, for both teams,” concluded Finch.