England's Relentless County Grind Secret To Their International Success: Aaron Finch
Finch, who retired from international cricket on Tuesday but will continue to play in the Big Bash League and domestic tournaments around the world, said young England players are exposed to so much cricket in their formative years that it makes moving between formats seamless.
Retired Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch believes the relentless grind of county and domestic cricket is the secret to England's recent success, adding that the workload helps players transition from one form of the game to another with ease. England currently hold both the ICC 50-over and T20 World Cup titles and have won nine out of 10 Tests after Brendon McCullum and Ben Stoke replaced Chris Silverwood and Joe Root as head coach and captain, respectively. Finch, who retired from international cricket on Tuesday but will continue to play in the Big Bash League and domestic tournaments around the world, said young England players are exposed to so much cricket in their formative years that it makes moving between formats seamless.
"Their young guys are exposed to a lot of cricket, especially through their developing years when it's probably easier to make changes in your game," Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Wednesday.
"Even from club cricket right through to international level, they just play so many games especially in the one-day and T20 space. And because there's so much cricket, there's also differences in the way they train." Finch, one of the most successful Australia T20I players who guided the team to its maiden T20 World Cup in the UAE in 2021, added the key to England players' success was hours spent at the nets on the mornings before their domestic games.
England have recently added the T20 Blast and The Hundred competitions to county and one-day cup cricket, which means they are competing in at least 50 fixtures domestically each year prior to international white-ball fixtures.
"They don't train as much, but they use net sessions on the mornings of their games as their main practice sessions so you have guys batting, batting and batting just hours before a match starts." Finch is well aware of the county system, having played league cricket in England as a teenager before playing a few seasons with Yorkshire and Surrey.
Finch believes that while a punishing 18-team county schedule should not be replicated in his country, he averred that the high volume of matches in England give players the opportunity to explore high-risk innovations with the bat.
He added that smaller county grounds also make young stroke-makers take more risks, which in turn perfects their techniques.
"From what I've seen over the last 10 years in the way they (domestic England players) train, is a greater acceptance of failure if you like.
"I think we're in a space at the moment in Australia where that's being accepted around most programs, and that's good because guys are prepared to really push themselves and the boundaries over there purely because they play so much.
"There's certainly more innovation in the English game, right through the system. Almost everybody ramps, everybody reverse sweeps and hard sweeps, and even keeps wickets and bowls a bit. They're definitely a well-skilled outfit."
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