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July 6, 2019

Aaron Finch

Manchester, England, UK

South Africa - 325-6, Australia - 315

THE MODERATOR: Evening, everyone. If you can keep it to one question each so we can get around the room that would be greatly appreciated.

Q. That was a good fightback I guess there in the end. Was this a real setback to you today injury-wise and just losing and now having to play England in the semifinal?
AARON FINCH: I think what I said from the start is, the great thing about this format is you have to play everyone, you have to beat the best to win the title, so we didn't play our best cricket today, no doubt, it was a tale of two halves where our first 25 overs with the ball were not up to scratch and our first 25 overs with the bat.

Like you said, the way that we fought back to get as close as we did after not playing our best was still an encouraging sign.

Q. You touched on it there a bit. How disappointed are you with the start with the ball and I guess the intent early on in the game from your team?
AARON FINCH: I think we were off with our execution and energy in the field, so when you do that to good players on good batting wickets, and fast outfields, and they get away to a flyer, it can be hard to rein back in.

And Markram is a class player, he's shown what he can do, especially in Test cricket, and de Kock is as damaging as anyone when he gets going. So just a bit of execution off there and a bit with the bat as well, a couple of lazy dismissals, myself, Steve, Marcus and unfortunate for Uzzy to twinge his hammy.

Q. Can you update us with Usman and Marcus's injury and if you are in a position to talk about possible replacements?
AARON FINCH: Usman's not looking great in all honesty. He's done a couple of hammies before and he said it feels similar to that. So, in terms of replacements, we haven't had time to talk about that yet.

Marcus is a bit sore in his side and not -- we'll have to wait for scans tomorrow to know the finer details of it. Obviously, it is tough to talk about replacements and things like that when you haven't got the full story and the full scan, so we'll get that tomorrow and you guys will know as soon as we do, I guess -- well just after.

Q. How big a call was it to bring Usman on for the final overs and did it aggravate his injury?
AARON FINCH: No, he didn't aggravate it anymore when he got back out there. He was -- he wanted to go out and especially once we got as close as what we did, it was -- I think when you got guys like Rabada, Morris, still to finish off, having a batter in was going to be crucial, so that didn't work out the way that we planned.

Obviously, it would have been nice to hit some big balls there, but that happens, he's well and truly put the team first there which is a great quality to have and something that we pride ourself on that each and every player will always put the team first and to get in a position to win it, he was more than happy to go out.

Q. Would you have preferred to have faced New Zealand or England and does beating England earlier in the tournament give you a boost?
AARON FINCH: You have to beat everyone regardless of who it is or where it is. Playing well against England at Lord's a couple of weeks ago will give us some good confidence going into that game.

There's been a lot of build-up to the World Cup and especially getting towards the pointy end. England have been in really good form recently so again we're going to have to be at our best to win that.

But it is going to be exciting. Any time Australia plays England it is exciting, but even at -- any time you are at Birmingham as well, it's a fun crowd to play in front of there (smiling). There's always plenty of support there for both sides and it's going to be a great atmosphere. It will be a great spectacle no doubt.

Q. The pitches are sort of getting flatter. Does it open the door for Nathan Coulter-Nile to come back? He adds the girth to your batting lower-order?
AARON FINCH: Absolutely. Over the next couple of days, it will probably be a bit more telling when we get the results of Usman and Marcus's scans tomorrow when we know who we've got available to play to be fair and then we've got till Thursday to sit down and map out what we've got to try and find our best line-up to beat England, and that is all we can do.

We have talked about the flexibility the squad has had over the last four or five weeks, that everyone is ready to go at any stage, so that doesn't change regardless of what happens. Everyone will be preparing as if they are going to play.

Q. With two middle-order spots potentially opening up and Alex Carey playing another good innings today, is there a chance that you might look at him further up the order?
AARON FINCH: Yes, absolutely, that was something that was discussed leading into this game. It will be discussed leading into the next game no doubt. He's played a couple of crucial innings for us in some difficult circumstances and difficult conditions.

That second game at Lord's on a used wicket against New Zealand was a brilliant run-a-ball 71. And today he played an outstanding knock and couldn't get us quite over the line. But that partnership with Davey was outstanding and we'll look at everything to come up with the best 11 to win against England on Thursday.

Q. Does David look like someone who is warming to the task more and more each match? How much confidence does that give you given the way this tournament is going that the semifinal against England could be a high-scoring affair?
AARON FINCH: He played magnificent today. I think the way that that he structured his innings was really important today and it's never easy when you are losing wickets at the other end to map out your innings and navigate your way through some really difficult periods.

But he showed his absolute class today and it was an unbelievable knock to get 122. I think that was as good an innings as he could have played, I think.

It would have been nice for him to go deep and it would have been nice for him to have some partners at the top of the order -- myself, Stoinis, Maxxy, it would have been nice for us to go deeper and make his job easier. Yes, he's a big game player, he loves the big stage, so it is an exciting time (smiling).

Q. I understand you can make squad replacements. Peter Handscomb is already on the bench now. Against England is he the front-runner if Usman's place is up for grabs?
AARON FINCH: Again, we'll map out every scenario but coming up over the next few days, we will know more about who is available in the next couple of days and what replacements look like, so... But Pete, every time he's had an opportunity to play for Australia he's done really well and played some crucial innings for us in India and in the UAE so he's ready to go if needed.

Q. The threat that Faf du Plessis poses you guys you are well aware of. A guy like Rassie van der Dussen, you haven't seen him before, what did you think of him today?
AARON FINCH: He played a really good innings. The way that he caught up, we bowled well at him early and squeeze him in his first 20 or so balls and the way that he caught up, he's a leg-side dominant player and played some really nice shots and showed a lot of class and a guy who looks like he's played a lot of cricket to be able to get through that period and then explode at the end, he got them to that 325 which ultimately was too much.

Q. Was there any issue at all with Mitchell Starc? It seemed like he might have had an issue with his knee?
AARON FINCH: No, he just landed funny that ball. His ankle -- when you get some foot holes and edges on foot holes, if he changes his position on the crease, at times he lands in it and it just jars it. No issue there.

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