T20s our best chance of upsetting India, reckons Finch

The three India vs Australia T20 Internationals starting in Brisbane on Wednesday will open what will be a string of big-ticket clashes.

Virat Kohli and Aaron Finch pose with the T20I series trophy.   -  Twitter @Cricketcomau

With the T20 international series set to kick-off the two-month long India tour, Australia's T20 skipper Aaron Finch reckoned the shortest format will be the host's best chance of upsetting India in the absence of leading batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner.

The three T20 Internationals starting in Brisbane on Wednesday will open what will be a string of big-ticket clashes between the two rivals.

Finch said on Tuesday that the shortest format allows the host to be aggressive and more competitive against a strong Indian side.

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“Although we lost to Pakistan in the UAE, we are a very good T20 side. I think we played some good cricket in Zimbabwe and before that in the tri-series against New Zealand and England last year. We are very confident in this format,” Finch said.

“India have been in great form in all formats over a long time now. But it is going to be a great opportunity for us to come out, play aggressively and express ourselves. We can take the game on and really try to take it to India.”

The first match will be played at the Gabba. The T20 Internationals will be followed by a four-match Test series and three ODIs.

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“T20s are fast-paced short games obviously. At times it can take one bit of brilliance with bat or ball, or even in the field, and it can change the dynamics of the match or even the whole series.

“So it is a great advantage to be able to start off against India in this format. They have been so dominant in this format that people forget where they are playing at times,” he added.

Australia fielded an all-pace attack in its one-off T20I against South Africa on Saturday. That is expected to change with a lone spinner to come into the playing eleven.

“That will be in the calculations. With the size of this ground and how good our spinners have bowled here, while they haven’t been huge wicket-takers, they have bowled well. We have options in Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa.

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“Traditionally, there is pace and bounce in this wicket. Indian batsmen have been here before, so there isn’t an element of surprise with the amount of cricket being played nowadays. But we will still look to use it to our advantage. The boundaries are bigger here than in India, and it could alter strategies.

“You cannot hit as many sixes to influence the game as soon as you come to the crease, and you might have to steal doubles instead. I think the team that deals with it the better will win this series,” Finch said.

The ball tampering scandal and its aftermath is still making headlines here. On Tuesday, Cricket Australia refused to shorten the bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

“It would have been great to see the guys playing some domestic cricket at the backend of this summer, but we have to respect Cricket Australia’s decision and for the ban to stand. We have to move on (to the series at hand).”

Finch said that it didn’t make a difference to its preparations, and that Australia is still a side that is desperate to win.

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“We’re still intense and desperate to win and we are going about that the right way. Playing hard is the Australian way but to different people that means different things. It’s not all about verbal and things like that.

“You talk about being tough and aggressive, and that means verbal, but I don’t see it as that. It’s about your body language and presence on the ground. That’s what Australia always prides itself on in all sport. That’s presence, that’s fierceness and tough cricket.”

When asked about countering Virat Kohli and his pre-tour statement about not feeling the need to be aggressive anymore, he replied, “Virat plays the game that gets the best out of himself, and I think that at times, for him that’s about being verbal for his team, and pumping them up and being right in the contest. He loves that.

“He plays the same way for everyone, whether for India or in the IPL. So, the verbal won’t change whatsoever — I think what he was referring to was his aggression, but ‘verbal’ is encouragement for teammates. It’s not abuse or anything like that.”

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