Finch: ‘We’re confident to go into playoffs’

“Last year, we won six out of first seven games. We are probably now in a position to win five out of last six. That is a great challenge, though,” the Gujarat Lions batsman said after his team defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets on Thursday.

Aaron Finch smashed 72 off 34 balls to take Gujarat Lions home in 13.5 overs.   -  PTI

Gujarat Lions’ Aaron Finch is confident that his team can win five out of the next six matches to make it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League after comprehensively defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore. Lions is currently sixth with six points from eight games.

“Yes, we are still very confident to go into playoffs. Last year, we won six out of first seven games. We are probably now in a position to win five out of last six. That is a great challenge, though,” Finch’s confident statement was laced with caution.

Finch, who smashed his way to 72 off 34 balls, was all praise for young Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh, who kept RCB batsmen under check. “It was a pretty polished performance and we saw some young quicks Nathu and Basil, really stand up with the new ball against some of the best players to have ever played this format,” Finch said.

Conscious effort

Finch said it was a conscious effort to attack because he felt batsmen can make the mistake of batting too slow in a low-scoring match. “Sometimes, in a small run-chase, you can make the mistake of trying to bat too slowly and before you know, the run-rate gets up to nine per over,” he said.

Finch said he and Suresh Raina were trying to get ahead of the run-rate so that in an eventuality of losing wickets, the batsmen to follow could take their time to get the winning runs. “We were just trying to get ahead of the run-rate. So even if something did happen, there were a couple of guys like Jadeja, Faulkner, Dinesh Karthik, who could still pick up the pieces,” he said.

Finch said that at this stage of the tournament, they could not afford to lose any more games. “At this stage, you still got to keep winning games. If you are in a position where you can really accelerate and make sure you finish as quickly as possible, it’s great. We are lucky we got into a position like that on Thursday,” he said.