Aaron Finch, the new vice-captain of Australia's one-day international side for the upcoming limited-overs series in England, feels his success against the opposition over the years is down to him feeling comfortable when playing them.
Australia are scheduled to play a five-match ODI series followed by a one-off Twenty International, for which Finch is the captain, against England in June.
Over the years, the hard-hitting opening batsman has enjoyed great success against England. As against his career average of 38.55 – 3200 runs from 88 games – Finch averages 55.11, with 992 runs from 20 matches, against England. This includes five of his 10 career ODI centuries.
“They're a team that I feel comfortable playing against,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “They've had a fair amount of success against me personally as well. I think it's just the way they play their cricket that suits my game.
“They're a team that I've seen in the past once you get in, their attack generally goes into a bit more of a defensive mindset to allow that player to get off strike and bowl a majority of the balls to a new batter. That plays into my hands but they've still got a quality bowling line-up, they've still got an attack that can knock you over at the top of the innings.”
Most recently, Finch was in excellent form against India and England.
In India in September-October 2017, even as Australia lost 4-1, Finch scored 124, 94 and 32 in his three innings. Then, at home against England, he hit 107, 106 and 62 in his three outings as Australia again lost 4-1. Along the way, he became the quickest to 10 ODI centuries among Australian batsmen.
“The last two series against India and then England, I performed well personally in terms of output of runs but we still didn't win a hell of a lot of games,” he pointed out. “For me, that was disappointing to score runs and not win.
“There was a real opportunity for me to go and get some match-winning hundreds and I didn't do that, so that was disappointing. That will be something that I'm looking to change.”
In the absence of David Warner, who is currently serving a 12-month suspension following the ball-tampering incident in South Africa earlier this year, Finch will have to continue being the frontman at the top of the batting order.
It’s not quite certain yet who Finch will have for his opening partner against England, with D’Arcy Short, Shaun Marsh and Travis Head some of the options.
“Davey (Warner) and I have obviously done it for the best part of my 88 games, but at the end of the day it's about forming a relationship as quick as you can with whoever does come in to do it,” said Finch, 31.
“It's about knowing each other's games and whoever that is to play that role, it will be a goal of mine to build that relationship as quick as we can and understand each other's games and strengths and weaknesses and just really make sure we're on the same page.
“That doesn't guarantee success but it goes a long way to an opening partnership being successful. When you work well with someone and you know them off the field that generally translates into a good relationship on the field.”