Cricket World Cup 2019: Aaron Finch confident no repeat of 481 for Australia at Trent Bridge
World champions conceded world record 50-over score 12 months ago in Nottingham where they return on Thursday to take on West Indies
Aaron Finch, the Australia captain, is confident his side bear no scars from the last time they played at Trent Bridge, as they return to the site of their record-breaking defeat last year.
It is less than 12 months since the Australians conceded a world-record score of 481 for six against England at the ground in Nottingham. Their World Cup fixture against the West Indies on Thursday is their first time back there since.
Finch says there has been some idle chat about that day among his players, but their fortunes – as well as personnel – are much-changed since that day.
Australian cricket was mired in controversy back then. Now, though, they are on a run of nine successive wins in one-day international cricket, while there are likely to be just three survivors of that game - Finch, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell – in the XI to face West Indies anyway.
Plus, Finch said, his side are being afforded a more homely welcome this time around, anyway.
“I think just before we turned up to the training [on Tuesday], a few boys talked about their previous experiences here, which obviously haven't been overly pleasant,” Finch said.
“But we're in the home change rooms, which is a first for everyone. Like all dressing rooms and all county cricket, they're a bit bigger. They're a little bit more spacious than the away rooms. I think it's a tactic.”
West Indies’ recent memories of this venue could not be more of a contrast to those of their opponents.
In the opening game of this tournament, the Caribbean side thrashed Pakistan in rapid time at Trent Bridge.
“We obviously had one game here before, but we only bowled 22 overs in the game,” Jason Holder, the West Indies captain said of bowling Pakistan out for 105.
“We didn't get a full allotment. But having said that, we've got a little bit of knowledge about the ground, and about how the wicket plays.
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“I just think it's a situation whether we bat or bowl first, we need to assess the conditions as early as possible and then play to suit.”
The manner of West Indies’ win over Pakistan meant they have been suddenly viewed in far more optimistic terms than the side that had only snuck into the tournament as the last qualifier.
Holder, though, attempted to play down the significance of their dominance last time out, saying they are only look ahead.
“It is a wide-open tournament,” Holder said. “All 10 teams are capable of lifting the World Cup. That’s why we're here, the 10 best teams in the world.
“I wouldn't get into [putting too much emphasis on] the games that have been played. I just want to keep moving forward.
“We've played Pakistan already, and that's a hurdle that we've overcome. We've got Australia tomorrow, and that's our next hurdle. That's what I want to focus on.”
West Indies enjoyed much of their success against Pakistan via short-pitched bowling.
While Holder said it is not necessarily a tactic they will repeat, Justin Langer, the Australia coach, acknowledged his side might have to revise their thinking for this game.
The two sides played a practice match against each other ahead of the tournament, with a number of players being bounced out, while Usman Khawaja was struck on the jaw.
“We've probably spent four months thinking and playing against spin bowling,” Langer said.
“We played India throughout the summer, went to India played T20 and one-dayers there, then [against Pakistan] in the UAE.
“So our focus is almost solely made on playing spin bowling. Now we have to change. We've seen in this tournament that there has been some good fast bowling so far.
“We played against them in our practice game on the nursery ground in Hampshire, so got a little taste of it, and a good feeling of what we'll get from them.
“Obviously, they are a very dangerous team the way they bat, and with aggressive bowling, but they've got weaknesses as well.”
Published: June 5, 2019 07:06 PM