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June 14, 2019

Aaron Finch

Kennington, London, England, UK

Q. Can you give us an update on Stoinis, and if he's not available for tomorrow, whom have you got in mind?
AARON FINCH: He won't be available again for tomorrow. He hasn't bowled yet in his recovery over the last couple of days.

So having four days between this game and the next game, I think that will be the ideal time to really test him out and assess him. But I think over the over the next five, six days, there will be a call made on that, just based on what he can and can't do. We've seen him batting and running, no problem. Just he hasn't tried to bowl yet. Just waiting for the injury to settle down a bit more.

Q. And who is tomorrows replacement for him?
AARON FINCH: We're not naming our team just yet.

Q. Is it a concern that you guys don't quite know, or maybe you do, know your best 11 yet?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, it's tough when guys, especially all-rounders who balance out your side really well give you that extra fast-bowling option, as well as a top six batter. So it's a little bit difficult trying to decide whether you go the extra batter or the extra bowler, depending on conditions.

So I think it does make it a little bit tougher, a bit more of a challenge, no doubt. But we also did plan for that, if it did happen throughout the tournament, before you sit down and you start planning out what happens if X, Y, Z happens.

So it wasn't a total surprise. Obviously it's not ideal, but it's not a surprise to us because we had already thought about things like that. But just game-to-game, it totally changes depending on the conditions.

Q. Sri Lanka have not played any cricket for the last ten, 11 days. Do you think it's an advantage for you guys that you have been playing consistently, and Sri Lanka have not been able to play the same, as well, in the first two games, which the Aussies have a fast-bowling attack?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, it's not ideal, is it, when rain plays a big part in a tournament like this. I think Sri Lanka have been unlucky with a couple of games they have had watched out. You look down their side, and there's a lot of experience there. There's a lot of world-class players.

You can never take any team in this competition lightly, but I think the fact that we've been playing consistently, basically every three days for the last two weeks, has been -- last week and a half, has been really positive that we're in cricket mode at the moment. We just play, travel, play, travel, which gives you a good opportunity just to keep the flow going and we get an extra day between this and the next game, and then it slows down a little bit toward the back end of the tournament.

While some of our boys no doubt will be after a bit of a rest and recharge of the batteries, because that can wear you down travelling a lot; travel, try and play all the time. I think it's good, though, that when you're in that phase of the tournament, you're just playing all the time. So Sri Lanka, they are going to be a very tough opposition, no doubt.

Q. We saw Mitch Marsh around the squad today. If Marcus can't get up for the next game, are you confident that he could potentially come many straightaway for the Bangladesh game?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, that's why he's here, obviously, just a couple of days before. I think Australia side land today in the U.K., as well, later today. So it's just a couple of days before.

But as a bit of a precaution more than anything, if Stoinis doesn't recover well enough over the next couple of days. So it just comes down to -- the answer, the short answer is yes. There is confidence that Mitch will come in and do well if selected, if Stoinis doesn't recover properly.

Q. Just on your bowling, if you'll give me another one here,/ saw you in the nets and obviously we'd like to you talk us through that wicket in the last game. Can you tell us what you've been working on with your bowling?
AARON FINCH: Not much (smiling) trying to land them, for a start.

Yeah, when you play four specialist bowlers and rely on ten out of your fifth bowler, your good part-timer I'll call Maxie, he's shown last World Cup he was our spinner for most of the game. So we know that he can do it. When he's relied on to bowl ten, you have to chop him out with a few overs here and there, especially at a ground like Taunton, and the wicket played really well. It didn't spin or anything.

So you had to try and chop him out with a few here and there, because you saw whenever our phase decided to attack him, it was tough going. Tough to defend on such a small ground and a quick outfield. Yeah, my bowling, it's not great. It's pretty ordinary to be fair. I just got a bit lucky.

Q. I noticed David Warner wasn't there today. He's still with the elbow sort of bandaged up and misses the odd over there in the field. Anything going on there with him?
AARON FINCH: Not at all. Not at all. I can't remember the last time that he does train the day before a game. The game we played against India, we had a quick fielding session as a group, so that's why he would have been here. Other than that, the day before a test match, one-day game, he doesn't train. Usman doesn't really train.

The quicks will very rarely be at training if not required at all. Saw Coults here today having a hit. He's probably one of a few guys, a few quicks that comes down. No, it's not concerning at all. He goes off to get his elbow re-taped every now and then because when he's throwing a fair bit, it can come loose. But apart from that, there's no issues whatsoever with him.

Q. Just to confirm quickly, there's no other injuries or issues going into tomorrow?
AARON FINCH: None at all. Just Stoinis. That's it.

Q. Going off last game, would you be more confident or less confident going four quicks again? How difficult did you find as a captain having to manipulate Maxie's ten overs, or the ten overs from a part-time spinner, so to speak, including your own?
AARON FINCH: Like I said it's really tough at a ground like Taunton being so small. I thought that the wicket would actually spin a little bit as the game went on, but it didn't. The cloud stayed in, stayed over the ground and it was a really nice wicket the whole time, after that -- after the new ball sort of wore off.

So that was probably tougher at a ground like Taunton. I think here at The Oval, you see one that there's a lot bigger side so you can play a little bit more defensive with your fifth bowler, as opposed to having to try and attack with him. And that's what the four quicks allows you to do. It gives you an opportunity to attack from one end while being defensive at the other. It's just that, so small, Taunton, that it's tough to even be defensive as a spinner there.

Q. Compared to 12 months ago, this team looks a lot sharper fielding-wise. If that's a fair observation, can you talk us through the work put in and maybe some of the guys who you really think are -- I know there's a lot of good fielders on the team, but some of the ones that are sort of world-class.
AARON FINCH: Yeah, I think having Smith and Warner, back in the ring there, that creates a huge amount of presence. They are both -- or Dave, in particular, is so quick. He mightn't have the best arm at the moment but he's so quick to the ball that you can't run.

Smith is like a flytrap there at slip, and also when he gets in that short cover, he reads angles and he anticipates so well.

Maxwell, we know how good he can be. He's up there with the best in the world when he's hitting the stumps like he did the other day, at a crucial time. If Sarfaraz bats to the end there, they probably get really close, if not home. They are the three that in the ringer, are so dynamic. And then you have Coulter-Nile who is a gun fielding on the boundary, Stoinis when he's fit is unbelievable on the boundary. He's quick. He's got an unbelievable arm. We feel there's a lot of bases covered there. All our quick bowlers are really good. All our spinners are good. Zams has really safe hands.

So it gives you an opportunity that you can keep the guys in; the fast guys, the guys who anticipate the play, you can keep them in the circle for longer. I think when you're trying to fill some holes in the field, your good fielders have to go to the boundary to try to cut off them twos, which then makes it easier to get the ones in the ring.

But when you have got confidence in everyone, anyone can field all around the grounds. That's been a big change is to get them world-class fielders staying in the ring for longer.

Q. You've been hitting the ball well through this tournament. Do you think a good World Cup can put you back The Ashes frame, and do you hope to play that --
AARON FINCH: I doubt it.

Q. -- Australia game in Hampshire just before it's picked?
AARON FINCH: I haven't honestly thought about it whatsoever. I think -- I'm not sure what they are planning with the squad or anything like that.

Obviously I'd love to play if the opportunity comes up. I think being The Ashes is way down the list, or I'm way down the list, having missed my opportunity throughout the summer.

But the guys who come in, the young guys come and played really well. Kurtis Patterson played beautifully. Heady has done a great job. We saw him evolve over the summer and changed his game or changed his mental attitude, I think really quickly to test cricket, which was a real positive from such a young guy.

Will Pucovski, he's an absolute superstar in the making. I think that between them guys, and you've got Bancroft who started off the summer over here really well. Joe Burns unfortunately had to go home for some personal reasons. But they are all guys that are right there in the mix with Steve and Dave coming back into the frame, as well.

The short answer is, no. I would love -- of course I'd love to. But the young guys have come in and done such a good job, and they have got such bright futures, all of them. Whether they all get picked or whether one or two misses out, I don't think that will be the end of the world for them.

Yes, there will be some short-term disappointment, but they are going to have long careers, all of them, I can tell you. There's some seriously good players in Australia, especially them young guys who have had a little taste. Obviously Will missed out selection them two tests against Sri Lanka.

But they are all seriously good players. I think them guys will be -- will be really well placed to take the spot The Ashes and make it their own for a long time.

Q. And I know you obviously want to build towards your best cricket in World Cup and you don't want to peak too early, when do you want to see the batting lineup click?
AARON FINCH: Every game. Every game would be nice.

Obviously it's tough. Obviously you are coming up against different opposition all the time and I talked about it in terms of changing your preparation, and adapting game by game because you don't get into a original many against the same team like you do for three and a half years in between World Cup.

To come up against different opposition, you're facing different challenges all the time. We saw against India, they are spin-heavy through the middle. West Indies are quicks-heavy through the middle. Played Afghanistan; they mixed up spin and quicks. You're constantly faced with different challenges.

So it would be nice for our batting to just keep improving. I don't think we've gone anywhere near our best, which is still a good thing; that we've got six points on the board while not playing anywhere near our best cricket, which is a real positive.

But as long as we're improving, and continue to go up and not go backwards, I think that's the key. What per cent of 100 per cent game that you get to, I think is irrelevant as long as it's improving along the way.

Q. How much of a concern was it the middle order left 50 runs out there at Taunton, and what's the ideal role you see for Glenn Maxwell? Is it the high-impact innings, or just last 15 overs of an innings, or longer, proper middle order batsman type?
AARON FINCH: It was a little disappointing to leave a few out there, because we saw on a ground that's so hard to defend like Taunton, that once a team gets a run on it, it can be hard to stop regardless of who is playing.

I think we just looking to a little bit too hard too soon after the start that we had, I think that we probably forced it a little bit too much, and probably left it to somebody else. We thought that somebody else was going to do the job but at the same time we still got ourselves into a great position.

We got guys a little bit of time in the middle that allowed them to get the feel of the game and get a bit of a flow into the World Cup, particularly Shaun had not played, Shaun Marsh had not played a game; to come in and get some time in the middle.

It would have been great if he spent a bit more time there and took the game a bit deeper, but when you're playing seven batters, it's probably the risk versus reward. If that comes off, then do you get that huge total, but at the same time, I was probably just a little bit disappointed that we failed to learn throughout the innings.

There was times, looked like every time we tried to hit it down the ground, a big shot down the ground in the air, it went straight up. A couple of guys still made that same mistake after a few guys before them had, as well. So that was a bit disappointing. All.

In all, I thought that the position that we got ourselves into was a really positive one. And with Maxie, again, that's just -- that's just a call you make on the day. That's not -- we love Max at about 15, 20, 25 overs, but he also doesn't -- he also doesn't have to play the high-risk innings, and we saw the other day, he come in and had a really big impact quickly. If that can go on a bit longer, great. Whether that's from the 35th over, from the 20th over, again that's just game-by-game, and that was my decision to send him on in, and probably just look to -- probably didn't make the right call on how tough the wicket was to walk in and really up the ante. So that was my bad mistake, especially after being out there for 20 overs. It was probably a wicket that we could have built for a little bit longer and tried to have maximum impact right at the end, rather than maximum impact for 25 overs (laughing).

THE MODERATOR: Last question from Zach Hatton.

Q. Are you going to win a coin toss (laughter)?
AARON FINCH: I don't know. I'd like to. I don't seem to -- I don't think I won in the warmup games either. I had a good run at the start of the Pakistan series and lost a couple towards the end, so it's been awhile since I've won a toss. Good question.

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