Australia have been a raging bull this summer. Crushing opponents one by one through series of brilliant performances, be it Steve Smith’s glittering return in the whites, David Warner’s triple hundred versus Pakistan, Marnus Labuschagne’s Test arrival, or Nathan Lyon’s ten-fer against New Zealand, the list goes on.
But as the team arrives in India for a three-match ODI series, their limited-overs captain Aaron Finch admits that beating India in India is a different ball game altogether.
“In India, you have to be really disciplined with the basics,” Finch believes.
“A lot of time you can get caught up in worrying about things that aren’t all that relevant. So at the end of the day, all you have to do is stick to the basics for a long time. We have seen that in these conditions.”
Finch feels that for any team that aspires to be great, the most exciting challenge is to replicate the home success in away conditions and beat the best in the world.
“Most teams in the world are now very comfortable playing at home. But for us, to go away and continue winning and challenge the best teams in the world on a regular basis is an exciting challenge.”
And to achieve this goal, the Australian domestic tournaments are now structured in such a way that the players get accustomed to sub-continental type of wickets by playing on used pitches, said Finch while citing Labuschagne’s success story.
“If you look at his (Labuschagne) domestic one-day record, he has batted in the top four for Queensland on wickets similar to that of sub-continent. He averages 40 (!) in domestic cricket even after playing on slower and spinning tracks, which is brilliant. Hopefully, he takes enough time to refresh and recharge his batteries after grueling Tests because playing here can be tough,” he remarked.
The Aussies looked set to lose the series against India last year but managed to script a comeback.
“The pleasing thing from the last tour is how we were able to come back from 0-2 down to win 3-2. That made a really big statement. Once you get behind in the series, you don’t give up, you keep chipping in one game at a time and try to get back in the series bit by bit. And you start that by sticking to the basics,” Finch said.
India begin the ODI series against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on January 14. Second ODI will be played in Rajkot on January 17 and third in Bengaluru on January 19.