ANI Photo | “Australia needs mindset shift against spin”: Former skipper Aaron Finch

Former Australian skipper Aaron Finch said that Aussies need a mindset shift against spin bowling and they failed to show intent against Indian spinners during their ICC Cricket World Cup match at Chennai.
The spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin made merry in Chepauk’s spin-friendly conditions, bundling out Aussies for 199 on Sunday. Despite being 2/3 at one point, knocks from KL Rahul (97*) and Virat Kohli (85) helped India chase down the target of 200 to clinch a six-wicket win.
Talking about the loss, Finch said that Indian spinners outbowled Australia’s and conditions played a big role.
“In the end, it came down to one thing – India’s spinners outbowled Australia’s. It was a fantastic game, much lower-scoring than we expected, and the conditions played a big part,” he said in his exclusive column as quoted by ICC.
Finch said that he spoke to Indian head coach Rahul Dravid before the game and he did not expect any dew and was surprised when it came down.
“I spoke to Rahul Dravid before the game and he didn’t expect there to be any dew. He was really surprised when it came down and said that India would have batted first as well,” said Finch.
The former skipper lauded spinners Jadeja, Kuldeep and Ashwin for being so accurate and highly skilled. Finch pointed out though Australia had plans to rotate strike well against them, they still showed a lack of aggression against spin.
“You cannot allow Jadeja, Kuldeep and Ashwin to bowl how they want to bowl on a surface like that. They’re so accurate and so highly skilled – Jadeja has done it to Australia so many times now.”
“Part of it comes down to how India bowled spin, but we also need to look at the way that Australia batted. There was a clear plan among the group to be proactive, to try to limit dot balls and rotate strike against what they knew would be a world-class group of spinners.”
“There was a bit of a lack of aggression from the Australian batters. I think they will be disappointed by the intent they showed and the fact that they were not able put any pressure back on India.”
“It needs a mindset shift, to look to be on the front foot a little more and take some calculated risks,” he concluded.
Finch said that when India was down 2/3, everything felt possible and highlighted how the reaction to Virat being dropped was something he had never heard before. The former skipper said had Aussies dismissed Virat, things could have been different.
“The atmosphere in the ground was amazing, when the ball went in the air with Virat on 12, it went dead silent and there was a kind of collective groan that I have never heard before,” said Finch.
“When it went down, the fans went nuts and that was the turning point for sure. Australia created enough opportunities and if they had got Virat, that would have put a totally different complexion on the game,” he added.
Finch lauded KL and Virat for their partnership, calling it “unbelievable”.
“If Australia had got up to 240, India would not have been able to soak up pressure for 15 overs. Chasing 200, the run rate was never going to get out of hand. More chances would have come if India had to pull the trigger a bit earlier,” he said.
Finch said that Adam Zampa did not bowl as good as he did in the past though he feels injuries played a part. He also lauder KL for how he played Zampa.
“Adam Zampa clearly did not bowl as well as he has in the past. He has had a neck injury and some shoulder issues, so understandably is a little bit below his best,” he said.
“The ball got very wet and the way that KL Rahul hit him off his length in the first over was devastating. He played a beautiful late cut to a very good ball and that forced Zamps to be a little bit fuller, to strive for a little more pace and ultimately overpitch.”
“That was down to great batting rather than anything Zamps could have done differently, they just had the better of him today,” he concluded.
Finch said that the mood within Aussie camp is still positive. He also added with nine group stage games, a little slip up is affordable.
“The mood around Australia is still optimistic. With a nine-game group stage, you can afford a little slip-up here and there and it’s not fatal. In the T20 World Cup, we found that losing one game is enough and the margins are so fine. Here you can cope with a couple of losses, you just do not want them to be too big for net run rate,” said Finch.
The former skipper said that Indian side is well-rounded and hard to beat in such conditions.
“All in all, India have got such a well-rounded squad, three brilliant spinners and three brilliant quicks, and Hardik Pandya being back bowling is huge for the balance of their side. They will be so hard to beat in these conditions,” he concluded. (ANI)

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