Finch: ‘Conditions, more games and more travel set BBL and IPL apart’

Australian opener Aaron Finch, who was signed by Kings XI Punjab for Rs. 6.2 Crore at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, feels the ‘Big Bash League (BBL) and IPL are similar in regards to pressure, atmosphere and playing in front of full houses.’

Despite being a valuable asset for Australia in the shorter format - 4406 ODI and T20 runs at a combined strike-rate of 120.88 - Finch is yet to sport Test whites for Australia.   -  PTI

Australian opener Aaron Finch, who was signed by Kings XI Punjab for Rs. 6.2 Crore at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, feels the ‘Big Bash League (BBL) and IPL are similar in regards to pressure, atmosphere and playing in front of full houses.’

However, ‘the conditions, more games and more travel in the IPL,’ set the two T20 leagues apart. “Obviously, there are more international players available and playing in the IPL, the standard is higher and it’s the ultimate test for a T20 player,” Finch, who plays for Melbourne Renegades in the BBL, told Sportstar.

“Also with the fixturing in Australia, the international fixture overlaps, so we lose some of the Australian players for sections of the BBL,” he added.

The 31-year-old, since joining the IPL, has represented seven different franchises including Punjab. Has this hop-skip routine ever interfered with his preparations going into a new season? “Each time there is a settling in the period, however, I know so many of the players from playing with or against them in the past so it's never too daunting,” he noted before adding, “All teams have been welcoming and you feel part of it very quickly. In regards to preparation, it doesn’t change too much year to year, I just make sure I’m ready and refreshed when I arrive.”

Despite being a valuable asset for Australia in the shorter format - 4406 ODI and T20 runs at a combined strike-rate of 120.88 - Finch is yet to sport Test whites for Australia.

But the aggressive batsman remains optimistic. “Getting a baggy green remains a goal - it’s something that I have always aspired to achieve and whilst I’m performing for Australia in other formats I would hope that opportunity is still present,” he said.

Since the famous Eden Gardens Test of 2001 — which India won by 171 runs after being forced to follow-on - the rivalry between India and Australia has grown into one of the game's premier face-offs; occasionally underlined by feisty temper and an unbridled aggression.

Having said that, post the IPL, with so many Australians plying their trade in India, is there a certain camaraderie developing between the two cricket superpowers?

“I think so,” he said. “Given the amount of time we spend in India and the friendships you develop with your team-mates. India is like a second home in many ways and I love coming back. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play for a few of the IPL franchises and as such have lived in various cities so I feel comfortable here and have friends across the country.”