Australia's hopes of clinching their first-ever World Twenty20 title was off to a shaky start when they lost a high-scoring thriller to Pakistan by 16 runs in their first Super-10 encounter on Sunday. Even Glenn Maxwell's bludgeoning innings of 74 from just 33 balls was not enough as Pakistan held their nerves to register their first win.
Despite being one of the favourites of the tournament, Australia's margin of error has now been reduced to a great extent as they belong to a tough group comprising defending champions West Indies, the rejuvenated Indian side and tricky hosts Bangladesh.
While India have earned the best possible start with two wins in as many games, Pakistan and West Indies have a win and a loss each in two matches and Bangladesh have lost their opening fixture. With both Pakistan and West Indies making a strong comeback after their losses to India, the pressure is now on Australia to not just win their next fixture against the West Indies in Dhaka on Friday but also keep a close eye on Net Run Rate as it could prove vital in the end. A win over West Indies will give them the much-needed confidence and momentum ahead of their Super-Sunday clash against MS Dhoni's men.
While the task at hand for the Aussies seems tough, explosive opener Aaron Finch believes it is the time to seize initiative than reach for the panic button. The aggressive opener who has to his name, the highest individual score in T20Is (156), feels the pressure situation will suit Australia's aggressive style of play and that it was time they took their game to the next level and dictated terms on the pitch.
"In such a short tournament like this you probably expect to be in this kind of situation at some point," Finch said. "I guess it's not ideal to be in it after the first game but there is not a real lot we can do. We are an attacking team, an aggressive team so I think what you will see now is even more free-flowing play, more attacking play," Finch said, as reported by ESPNCricinfo.
"I think we can take that to another level now and we have got nothing to lose from now on. We have to win three out of three. You can't do that if you sit back and let the game dictate to you. I think you are going to see the team really take on the opposition and give it a serious crack," he added.
While Finch is in a mood to take the bull by the horns, he is not getting arrogant about his opposition. Talking about West Indies' spin-attack that wreaked havoc on Bangladesh's top-order on Tuesday, Finch praised the duo of Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine but also said that the Australian batsmen will be up for the challenge and come out with definitive plans against them.
"Badree has opened the bowling for them for a few games now. He is an interesting bowler. He bowls a great length. He is someone who is hard to hit down the ground and it is a bit of a risk if you go across the line. He is someone we are going to have to come up with some pretty clear plans against," Finch said.
"Narine... a lot of guys have played him in the Big Bash and in the IPL. While having faced him quite a bit we are going to have our plans. He is still a quality bowler. He spins it both ways. Anyone who does that is going to present a challenge," he added.