Australia opener Aaron Finch expects Pakistan to "come back hard" after Asia Cup disappointment

Alex Broun 18:40 02/10/2018
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Aaron Finch on his way to 54 against Pakistan A

Australian opener Aaron Finch expects Pakistan to “come back hard” in the two Test series starting in Dubai on October 7 after their poor performance in the Asia Cup.

Pakistan were surprisingly knocked out at the Super Four stage of the tournament by Bangladesh, after losing to India twice.

“You expect them to come back hard all the time,” Finch told Sport360 in Dubai this week.

“They’re a very proud bunch of cricketers and proud people so I’d be very surprised if they didn’t. It’s going to be a cracking series.”

Finch was speaking after scoring a half century in his first innings as a red ball opener for Australia against Pakistan A in the four-day warm up game at the ICC Academy.

“It was nice to get out in the middle after training for best part of a week and doing the hard yards,” said the 31-year-old. “It was good to finally get out in the middle.”

Asked about his unusually sedate pace, 94-balls to bring up his 54, Finch said: “The conditions dictated (me being more restrained).”

“The wicket’s obviously pretty slow with fielders in front of the wicket, you’re not going to get away to a flyer. You’re not going to score as quickly as you would when the wickets got a bit more pace and bounce in it.

“I think it was just about playing conditions as well as you can.”

But Finch says his approach in the Tests won’t deviate too much from his usual free-flowing batting style in ODIs or T20.

“(My approach) is pretty similar to be honest,” he said. “Still about playing my natural game which is quite aggressive generally, trying to put pressure back on to the opposition in these kind of conditions.

“If you’re going nowhere and the scoreboard stands still for a long time, you can be a sitting duck. There are some world class players (on the Pakistan team).

“So I think it’s still about playing my natural game, there will be an opportunity to taper that slightly with the conditions, and with the wicket.

“It’s important that we just keep playing the conditions as well as we can.”

Quizzed about the challenge of adapting to conditions in the UAE, Finch said: “the wickets are a touch slower to what we see at home. There wasn’t a huge amount of swing from both teams with the brand new ball.

“It was pretty consistent that it swung for maybe one or two overs and then that died off and started to get a little bit lower and slower.

“And as you tend to see once the spinners start bowling and there’s rough and guys around the bat, scoring rates go down slightly.”

He expects similar conditions at Dubai International Cricket Stadium for the first Test.

“Having not been there at all, having just watched the Asia Cup on TV, the square looks quite dry,” said Victorian-born Finch. “I’d be surprised if it wasn’t a reasonably dry wicket.

“They’ve had so much cricket on it, it’s been exposed for such a long time. We don’t see it till the day before the game so that will be a good opportunity then.”

Although Pakistan are more experienced in UAE conditions the right-handed stroke maker would not concede it gave the Men in Green an advantage coming in to the series.

“They know the conditions well, they’ve probably played at Dubai a few times a year, every year for the last ten years or so,” he said.

“They definitely know the conditions better than us (but) whether they have an advantage – not sure about that.

“Both teams on paper are relatively inexperienced, if you look down at both squads, similar ages of both sides overall and similar test experience which isn’t a huge amount from both sides.”

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