Aaron Finch is eyeing a long-term spot in the Australian team after his world record 156 against England in a T20 international at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Thursday. The 26-year-old easily surpassed the previous international record of 123 set by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum and became the first Australian to score a T20 international century.
"I suppose being in and out of the side is never ideal. I felt like, last year, I let a couple of chances slip and it's always good to score runs and contribute to a win, especially in the first game of a new series," Finch said. "For my own confidence, and probably for the selectors' confidence in me, it's nice to get a good score and repay some of that faith."
Opener Finch smashed a remarkable 156 off 63 balls as Australia scored their first win in any international cricket format in more than 200 days and landed an overdue blow against England after a 3-0 Ashes series loss.
"Hopefully I've staked a pretty good claim for the rest of the series and hopefully I can stay on," the Victorian said.
Finch left a packed Rose Bowl in awe with an innings that was punctuated with 14 sixes and 11 fours. Finch's ton off 47 balls was the second-quickest in international T20s behind South African Richard Levi (45) and he looked poised to break that record before a brief lull in his scoring.
The Australian, who led Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League this year, said he wasn't aware of Levi's record. "You could probably tell I started blocking the hell out of it around a hundred. I did get a little bit nervous but had no idea what the record was."
Finch's innings was the third highest T20 score ever, including domestic cricket, behind only knocks from Chris Gayle (175 not out for Bangalore Royal Challengers) and McCullum (158 not out for Kolkata Knight Riders) in the IPL.
Finch's display propelled Australia to the second highest team score in T20 internationals, behind Sri Lanka's 260 for six against Kenya in Johannesburg in 2007.
Playing in only his seventh T20 international, Melbourne Renegade star Finch set the tone early with a huge pulled six off his first ball. Opening alongside David Warner (1) with Shane Watson brought in at No. 4, Finch also stylishly brought up his 50, 100 and 150 with sixes.