Finch: Australia prepared to alter tactics for crucial T20 World Cup clash with Ireland

Weather could once again play a factor in Monday's match at The Gabba

Aaron Finch prior to the T20 World Cup match between Australia and England in Melbourne, which was washed out due to the weather. AFP
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Australia captain Aaron Finch has said he could adapt his team's tactics for the crucial T20 World Cup game against a confident Ireland at The Gabba in Brisbane on Monday.

Australia won last year's tournament with a "bat second" strategy, but Finch said that with weather playing a big part so far in this year's T20 World Cup he was open to rethinking his strategy when the hosts face a side proving they are no pushovers following their stunning win over England in a rain-affected match.

"Teams generally prefer to chase, but I'm definitely not against batting first," said Finch, whose Australia squad trained under blue skies on Sunday, although forecasters have predicted a 30 percent chance of rain during Monday's night's match.

"Batting second, you tend to back into your innings. Batting first, you can probably be a little bit more free-wheeling.

"I think what we've seen is that teams, if you can put enough pressure on, if you can put a decent enough total and force teams to go hard against a quality bowling attack with a little bit of movement, it's really difficult."

Ireland have built a reputation as giant-killers, having also beaten two-time champions West indies in this World Cup, where leg-spinner Gareth Delany starred with 3-16.

"I think we know if we play pretty much near our best that we're going to be able to compete with anybody here," Delany said. "We're not coming into any of these games fearing anybody.

"Obviously Australia have probably one of the best attacks in world cricket at the moment, so it will be a tough challenge, but I think the guys have shown throughout this tournament that we can mix it with the best. Definitely have confidence in the guys to take it on."

Australia's remaining games are against the two lowest-ranked teams in their group, Ireland on Monday and Afghanistan in Adelaide on Friday, needing at least to win both to qualify from a tight group.

Gareth Delany insists Ireland do not fear Australia. AFP

Australia will also need to improve their net run rate to stand a chance of being in the top two in Group 1, but Finch said Australia could not afford to take Ireland or Afghanistan lightly and just go for broke.

"I think you have to earn the right to go after a run-rate enhancing performance," said Finch. "We've seen how damaging how Ireland can be if you give them a sniff in a game. You never go into a game thinking about things like that.

"First and foremost you have to do the basics well and get your team into a position that, if that presents itself you can push forward.

"The last thing you want to do is push too hard and leave yourself a lot to do. All we've got to do is win two games and hopefully things will fall our way."

Updated: October 30, 2022, 10:25 AM
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