Aaron Finch scored 42 runs for Australia. (PTI Photo)
Aaron Finch is not pleased with the “mixed and matched” rules for the India-Australia T20I series. The Australian opener has explained that he and his Australian teammates were not aware of the new rules that have been introduced in T20 cricket. Australia suffered a nine-wicket loss to India in the first T20I in Ranchi on Saturday. In a rain-hit game, India were set a target of 48 runs from 6 overs which they chased down.
Finch, who scored 42 runs in Australia’s innings, said that he was not aware of the introduction of the review system in T20 cricket and it was only when Steve Smith brought drinks and told them.
“I didn’t know there was a review system until about the fifth over. Nobody did,” Finch was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Steve Smith, when he ran out a drink, mentioned it. So, we had to ask the umpires. But it is quite strange to have a crossover of rules for this series. I mean bat sizes and things like that are coming in at the end of the series.”
According to another new rule for T20 cricket by International Cricket Council (ICC), if a game is “reduced to less than 10 overs, the maximum quota of overs per bowler shall not be less than two: meaning that if a match is reduced to five overs a side, two bowlers will be able to bowl two overs each.”
But, during India’s chase, which was only six overs, only Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled two overs while Jason Beherendoff, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Dan Christian sent down one over each.
“The over situation with a shortened game – three bowlers being allowed to bowl two overs – but DRS was in for this. It didn’t have any effect on the game. I just thought it was quite odd to have mixed and matched the rules for this series,” Finch said.
Even India opener Shikhar Dhawan also admitted that he was not aware of the new rules for T20 cricket but rules are rules.
“I’m sure they [Australia] would have felt the inconsistency,” he said. “But whatever is the rule, is the rule. I’m not exactly aware of the rule you were talking about. But, it is what it is,” he said.
Australia were 118 for 8 after 18.4 overs when rain arrived and the players were off the field. Finch had top-scored with 42 before getting out to Kuldeep Yadav. Explaining his dismissal, Finch said he was looking to sweep before coming down the track which was a “brain-fade”.
“I thought on that wicket, to Kuldeep, sweeping was a safer option than taking him over the top. Some balls were spinning. It was hard to judge the bounce on a track that was quite difficult,” he said. “I found the sweep was the safer option. One to get off strike and to get a boundary as well if I could pick out a gap, but I kept picking out a fielder. The ball that I got out on was a little bit of brain fade, I went to sweep and just tried to chip him on the onside for one, and missed it.”
Australia were not given a opening window and they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Finch said that they had a plan against India’s bowlers especially Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
“It is easy to look back now and say, ‘yes (we should have changed our approach). But when you look at the history of this ground, it suggests that 150 is a par score or the average score batting first on this surface. We wanted to make sure we were up and around that mark. We knew with how competent their bowlers are at the death — Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, in particular, are two of the finest going around at executing in the end,” he said.
“We felt we had to play a little bit more high-risk game through the middle overs to maximise. Unfortunately we just kept losing wickets. That’s a part of T20. There is not a lot of time to be assessing the pitch for 10-12 overs and then making a decision. It has to be a split second, two or three balls. Guys coming in for their first hit in these conditions.”