Australia captain Tim Paine has backed Aaron Finch to come good in the second Test against India that starts on December 14 in Perth. “Finchy’s been successful in international cricket,” Paine said in press conference on the match eve. “He played really well in the UAE and is like no other player – he just needs that one score to get that little bit more self-belief at Test level that we know he’s got in international T20 and one-day cricket.”
Finch, who is captain of the Australian limited-overs squads, was dismissed for a duck in the first innings of the first Test and 11 in the second. This was only his third Test match, being roped in as a replacement for the banned David Warner. Paine reckons that Finch needs to stick to his strengths to succeed in the longest format of the game.
“Finchy is no different to any other player. You’re not going to succeed at international cricket unless you stick to your strengths. Finchy knows the best way to go about his batting and we’ve just got to keep him on track and make sure he keeps trying to do that. If he does he’ll come good for us,” he said.
Paine also said that Australia were happy with the way they dealt with Indian captain Virat kohli in the first Test. “In the second innings we are really pleased that we made him face over a hundred balls to score 30 runs. I don’t think he does that a hell of a lot. We know at some stage he is going to score runs, he is the best player in the world but we want to make him work really hard for every run,” he said.
Mitchell Starc got some stick after the first Test for his performance but Paine is confident that the pacer will come good. “I think the criticism he’s come under this week has been pretty unfair,” he said. “As I said after Adelaide, I thought barring two or three overs where he got his radar a little bit wrong I thought he bowled really well. He’s best and his worst are getting closer together and I think we’re getting really close to his best again.”
“He swung the ball in Adelaide which he didn’t do in the UAE, I think he’ll swing it out there (at Perth Stadium), the conditions are going to suit him down to the ground. One thing I know about Starcy is when he cops a bit of criticism normally he takes it pretty personally and that sometimes gets the best out of him. I’m pretty pumped to see him go tomorrow or the next day and see what he can produce. We know his best is the best, so we’re excited to have him in our team and realise how lucky we are to have him,” said Paine.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.