India vs Australia: Aaron Finch Suffers 'Brain Fade' While Facing Kuldeep Yadav
Aaron Finch was going well and looked in top form before he got-out to Kuldeep Yadav's left-arm spin, which triggered Australia's downfall in their nine-wicket defeat to India in the first T20.
Australian opener Aaron Finch is the only batsman in the Australian camp who seems to be in form and it is quite evident from his scores of 124, 92 and 32 in the ODI series and 42 in the 1st Twenty match. But, the opener on Saturday too admitted that he had a torrid time facing India's left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and 'had a little bit of brain fade' while facing him in Ranchi. Finch was going well and looked in top form before he got-out to Kuldeep's left-arm spin, which triggered Australia's downfall in their nine-wicket defeat to India in the first T20.
"I found that playing the sweep was going to be the safer option. One to get off strike and to get a boundary if I could hip the gap. That ball I got out on was a little bit of a brain fade to be fair," he said at the post-match news conference.
Finch looked determined to play the sweep shot. After playing five sweep shots, Yadav bowled one fuller that breached his defence and he was out for 42.
"I went to sweep then just tried to chip him into the onside for one and missed it. That happens in the game, in particular T20."
After Finch's dismissal, the Australia middle-order crumbled to be struggling at 118 for 8 when rain curtailed their innings and gave India an easy D/L target of 48 in six overs, which the hosts comfortably achieved with three balls to spare.
"I thought on that wicket to Kuldeep, sweeping was a safer option than trying to take him over the top where some balls were spinning, it was hard to judge the bounce on a track. That was quite difficult."
Australia captain Steve Smith was ruled out with an injured shoulder and Finch said they missed his services. "It's obviously disappointing not to have him out there.
He's one of the best players in the world in all three formats. Quality captain, so it would have been nice to have his skill," said Finch.
In Smith's absence, David Warner was the stand-in captain and Finch said he did a decent job, after he was left to defend 48 in six overs.
"Dave's (Warner) obviously played a lot and captained a lot over here in the IPL. He knows the opposition very well. He's very calm under pressure the majority of the time.
"I've only played under him a handful of times...I think three games in Sri Lanka and one now. He's a fantastic leader. He's the vie-captain of the country for a reason. I thought Davey did a fantastic job under the circumstances," he said.
Finch felt if the match had gone the distance they could have had a chance with a score of 135 as the wicket was difficult at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
"I would not call it a debacle. Trying to defend 48 in six overs with India having 10 wickets in the shed in a format of the game they're particularly good, is difficult. Obviously there are some areas that we could improve.
"I think if it was a 20-over match, 135 would have been a fantastic score on that wicket."
He said debutant leftarm pacer Jason Behrendorff showed a lot of promise.
"Our bowlers did a fantastic job to almost get it down to the last ball. I thought the way Jason started the match on debut against some of the world's best players was fantastic. He swung the ball, so I think that was a real positive to come out of the game.
As for the batting, Finch said: "There's a few different players coming into the middle order who have not faced guys like Kuldeep. It was a very challenging wicket to start on in particular against the spin.
"Towards the end of the innings where you had (Jasprit) Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) bowling back of a length and they're skidding through at the stumps. It's not easy to hit. Unfortunately we just kept losing wickets."
Giving credit to the Indian bowlers, Finch said the hosts formulated their plans quite nicely.
"We just seemed to keep losing wickets at the wrong time. No one ever means to get out. They bowled exceptionally well. A tough loss to take. I think in the end it was probably reasonably generous giving us mid-40s after six overs."
Finch also backed his teammate in state and domestic cricket Glenn Maxwell, who is going through a lean patch. He scored just 17 after being promoted to No. 3. He became Yuzvendra Chahal's victim for the fourth time in a row in the ongoing limited overs series.
"He's been brilliant around the group. He was up and about around the group, doing everything to help. With the bat, conditions can be brutal when things aren't going your way. He's had a couple of unlucky dismissals."
Finch said the all-rounder is close to breaking his run drought ahead of the Ashes next month.
"We've seen him be so dominant, so destructive of attacks in these conditions before. I don't think he's far away at all. He's hitting the ball in the nets, he's up and about in the field. I think just a few game-plan tinkers here and there would go a long way to taking the pressure off himself.
"He probably feels as though people expect him to strike at 200 like everyone knows that he can and hit six after six. Batting at No. 3 is a different responsibility in this format for him. I know he has opened a couple of times, but been predominately a middle order player," he said.
(With PTI inputs)