Usually, when a ship is sinking, then the entire crew turns to the captain. For a country that’s a touristic hub given its natural beauty, the Blue Mountains being as distinct in charm as the Twelve Apostles or the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian team seems to be mired in volatile high seas.
And while its captain Tim Paine is trying to ensure that the ship doesn’t sink, one of his most approachable savers in the current lot doesn’t seem that interested in playing the rescuer.
Does Aaron Finch know his true powers?
Has he patented the craft of appearing sleepy or dormant whilst his broad shoulders and muscular frame resists the temptation to produce power from the bat?
In fact, chuck all of that.
Is Aaron Finch even aware that he’s got a job to do and that, regardless of his fighting fifty in the first inning against India, he’s still sucking at that job?
Australia have a serious problem. It’s not Aaron Finch. It’s his failure at being himself.
When a dilapidated team traveled to England earlier during the summer, where only the likes of Marsh and Stoinis were scoring runs with Head doing a little bit, Aaron Finch entered the 4th ODI of the series at the back of scores like 19, 0 and 20.
He would strike an exact 100 in the game and along with a fellow sufferer in the ongoing series against India, Shaun Marsh, would scale up Australia to 310.
They’d still lose.
Yet, Aaron Finch, with a sad poor form would have his say, scoring, at a strike rate of 94, hitting 3 sixes and 6 boundaries.
This seemed a knock laced with sheer daring.
It was actually in stark contrast to his 76-ball-172 against Zimbabwe, in July 2018.
While the ODI hundred was all about furious intent, the T20 knock was about pure power and ruthlessness.
God alone knows that so explosive did he seem on both occasions that imagining the team minus his presence in the longer format would appear rather daft.
And so we found him in the whites, a format of the sport where Australian ruthlessness has traditionally stuck along for five long days of cricket. It’s birthed Test cricket tragedies, such as the 2001 series in India, some epic contests in the Ashes of 2005, and some one-sided annihilation of opponents as seen in its slaying of everyone during McGrath, Warne, Waugh brothers, and Ponting’s pomp.
But the Australia Finch got to play for happens to only be a frail shadow of its former self.
Still, why bother?
We’re talking about a carefree batsman who fashions fast fifties and aggressive hundreds doing nothing but popping the gum.
India would’ve expected some hammering. But what do we find?
The time, it seems, is running out.
And if nothing is done immediately, the world will not come to an end.
But surely, Australia’s hopes of gnawing back at India will. And that said, who knows, even their chances of grabbing a series victory, despite playing on home, amid the existential scare that India are outplaying them in all departments, except where the batting of the tail is concerned.
But we don’t need to go there. Isn’t it?
Aaron Finch too wouldn’t want to reflect much on the performance of the Aussie tail.
It’s not because it isn’t hanging in there.
It’s simply because its performance is rather more stable and meaningful than all that Finch has himself managed thus far.
In case you were wondering what kind of a form has Aaron Finch been in, here’s what you need to know.
From the past 2 Test innings, his first in the longest format against India, Finch’s happened to have occupied under an hour at Adelaide, where from both innings, he could face no more than 38 deliveries.
Forget the briskly scored runs. There’s been none of that. He’s managed 11 runs alone.
But even then this can be ignored, conveniently passed under the carpet.
How has Aaron Finch’s overall batting form been of late?
From the past 10 knocks, he’s scored 1 fifty.
Does that surprise you of how poor his run-scoring ability has been?
The only fifty Finch scored- a well compiled 50 for Victoria against Queensland- saw his technique unruffled against short bowling and spin.
However, he’s not doing much of that against India, at present
So does he plan to get back to scoring big runs, one would know there’s probably nothing he’d want more, isn’t it?
But that only Shaun Marsh- 60, 81 and 0 from last three innings- is questioned for his contribution for Australia with most keeping a docile view at an equally talented but gullible Finch speaks of a strange case.
It’s a kind of situation where Pujara, who failed in England, well, let’s admit it but suddenly struck a fighting 132 in the Fourth Test to keep himself relevant in the mind of the fan was criticized while Rahane, who didn’t even score a 20-odd knock before going on to make that 81 in the Third Test, wasn’t really called out for poor performance.
Why should that happen?
But hey, does criticizing another out of form batsman really help?
Finch probably knows that his Test career has only just begun, debuting in the desert heat of the UAE in October 2018. And he also knows that he’s got a long way to go before entertaining the idea that the axe will fall on him, if at all.
But shouldn’t his lack of runs push him to build up a case for his Test credentials? Will, he only want to be remembered for playing the T20 knock- so to speak- of 2018, where he hammered a wayward Zimbabwe, devouring them in that T20 akin to a lion polishes off a pigeon?
Or should Paine and Marsh expect the belligerent right-hander to carve his way out of the murky mess he currently finds himself in, only so the rest of the team can be inspired?
For starters, it’s not such a bad idea to seek inspiration from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins’ efforts at Adelaide. Hey, in fact, even the ‘GOAT’ milked India’s bowlers for a few more runs that Finch in the first test.