After the mauling in the Tests, Australia went in to the T20 series with plenty of disappointment to deal with. But, the change in personnel definitely did the trick for the Aussies at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, where the crushed the Englishmen in the first T20. Aaron Finch’s 156 off a mere 63 balls, which featured 14 sixes to go with 11 fours was nothing short of sensational. Out of nowhere, it has catapulted Finch into stardom, and now the expectations will be greater from the youngster, who, till a couple of days back, was just another upcoming Aussie cricketer. As Finch basks in the glory of his newfound stardom, we research a bit to find out more about it.
Who is Aaron Finch?
Nicknamed Finchy, the 26-year-old with a solid built, was supposed to make his first-class debut for Victoria against the touring Indians back in December 2007 at Melbourne. Unfortunately, the match was washed out due to rain. He got an opportunity later, but hasn’t quite done justice to his potential. In 33 first-class matches, he averages under 30 with two hundreds and 11 fifties. His List A career is more impressive, an average of 40 with four tons after 65 games. However, it is in domestic T20 that he has been at his lethal best. While his average is an impressive 37, it is his strike rate that stands out – 136.
As a youngster, Finch was part of the Australian squad at the Under-19 World Cup in 2006. He was one of the stars for Victoria Bushrangers in 2009-10, when they won the prestigious Big Bash title, which is Australia’s domestic T20 event. Although Finch only came into the limelight on Thursday following his spectacular innings, he actually made his international T20 debut back in January 2011, against England at Adelaide. He made an unbeaten 15 in the game.
Thanks to the special innings at The Rose Bowl, Finch’s average has risen over 54. Before this, he had managed only one half-century in six games. Finch made his ODI debut in January this year against Sri Lanka at Melbourne. Opening the innings, he struggled for his 16 off 28 balls. So far, Finch has scored only 105 runs from seven ODIs at a poor average of 15 and a highest of 38. But his sensational T20 knock must inspire him on to greater things.
Some records broken at The Rose Bowl
Finch 156 off is now the highest individual score in international T20, beating Brendon McCullum’s 123 against Bangladesh last year by some distance.
The match aggregate of 457 is also the highest in an international T20. The previous highest was 428 between Australia and New Zealand at Christchurch.
Finch featured in two century partnerships during his innings – with Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh. This is also a first in T20s.
Australia’s 18 sixes in the match was also a record, bettering the 17 sixes South Africa had slammed against England at Centurion in 2009.
--By A Cricket Analyst