Ranchi: Australian opener Aaron Finch feels that he had a bit of a, ‘brain fade’ when he misjudged a delivery from prodigious chinaman Kuldeep Yadav which rattled his stumps, leading to the Australia’s batting collapse in the first T20I in Ranchi on Saturday.
The right-hander had made up his mind to use the sweep shot in order to tackle Kuldeep’s spin and after playing five of them, one ball sneaked past, dismissing him for 42 and triggering Australia’s collapse.
“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,” said Finch at the post-match news conference.
He added, “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.”
Finch’s dismissal set the tone for India as the hosts roared back into the game with a flurry of wickets as the Australian middle-order failed to show any fightback. They were reduced to 118/8 at one stage when the skies opened up and thus after a while, India were given a revised total of 48 runs to be chased down in six overs. The hosts comfortably got to the target with three balls to spare, thereby taking a 1-0 lead in the series.
Said Finch, “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 dearly missed the services of their skipper Steve Smith in the T20 series opener. He was ruled out with a shoulder injury and wouldn’t participate in the next two T20I’s as well.
“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,” added Finch.
However, he also felt that stand-in skipper David Warner did a decent job leading the side, having to defend just 48 runs from six overs.
He said, “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 also said that with a total of 135 on the board, they would have been able to challenge the hosts as batting at the JSCA stadium complex had become difficult.
“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,” said Finch.
He also heaped praise on Australian debutant Jason Behrendorff for his good performance in the match.
“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,” he added further.
He also credited the Indian bowlers for executing their plans well in the match.
He said, “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.”