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July 10, 2019

Aaron Finch

Birmingham, England, UK

Q. Aaron, there's about 20 cameras here, a whole lot more journos. You know the finals are right on the doorstep, don't you?
AARON FINCH: Yes, absolutely, it's been exciting. It's been a great build-up in the last few days since our South African game. I think we've had a really good preparation the last few days, the guys have had a really good hit out, so now is the time to get down to the cricket. It is very exciting.

Q. Glenn Maxwell not here. Are we reading too much into that?
AARON FINCH: Yes, a purely optional training session. Maxxy is someone who probably 50 percent of the time comes down to the optional sessions. Most of the bowlers aren't here. Davey's not here. So I think you are reading a bit too much into that.

Q. So what are you weighing up? The coach has admitted that Peter Handscomb is definitely in. What are you weighing up in terms of the 11 in terms of Maxxy or others?
AARON FINCH: No, we'll name our side tomorrow at the toss as usual.

Q. Aaron, can you tell us how important the contributions of David Warner have been in this tournament and whether he's shown extra responsibility since his return?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, it's been unbelievable, his output I think just purely based on the amount of runs he's made has been a huge contribution to why we are here in the semifinals. The way he has gone about his innings, particularly at the start of the tournament, was finding his feet a little bit back, finding the pace of the game again, but the last few games against some really world-class attacks he's played beautifully, under pressure he's played really well also.

So it is nice to see how dominant he's been. We all know that he is a world-class player, so definitely not a surprise, he hasn't exceeded anyone's expectations but the way he's gone about it, the maturity to really kick on and get those big hundreds has been really important.

Q. There's obviously a lot of history and tradition between Australia and England. In things like World Cups Australia seem to have been able to handle that pressure better over the years. Do you feel that you will be able to handle it better tomorrow and if not, how do you think England might cope with it?
AARON FINCH: I think World Cups are very special, they bring out the best in the best players, so I think that's why Australia have had a very rich history in World Cups. I mean, winning four of the last five, it's been a great achievement.

I think when we look at our side at the moment we are full of confidence going into this game. Obviously England have been probably the front-runners in world cricket over the last four years, the way they have changed the game, their game plan in particular has been very aggressive, taking it to the opposition.

So for us we know how they are going to play, they know how we are going to play. We have played each other a lot over the last couple of years, so it will be whoever holds their nerves, whoever takes them half chances, whoever starts off the game really well in the first ten overs, whether it is with bat or ball, it will be so important for either side.

Q. You always get a very warm reception, don't you, here at Edgbaston from the cricket fans. Are you ready for that again?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, absolutely. It's a great crowd to play in front of, regardless whether you are on the receiving end of some good banter. It is always a great atmosphere and a pleasure to play here. I think although they can be quite parochial at times, it is always good fun, they sing some good tunes out there.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at the pitch much? And there seems to have been so many different kinds of pitches and conditions and everything so far, what are you expecting here from what you already know and what you have seen?
AARON FINCH: Only had a really brief look at it. It looks like a good wicket. It is reasonably hard at the moment. No doubt it will get a little bit harder before the start tomorrow and a little bit of grass, but I expect the curator to shave a bit more of that off as well, so I expect a good cricket-wicket, something that will be probably batter friendly if you had to choose between the two.

You don't expect too much different here at Edgbaston. It's a very entertaining ground. It's relatively high-scoring if you look at the statistics over the last few years, so it will be good, fun encounter to watch no doubt.

Q. How much confidence can you take from the win at Lord's and, in particular, the way England struggled against your left-armers?
AARON FINCH: I think we take a lot of confidence into the game. They have Jason back at the top instead of James Vince. But I think the way we went about it in that game and the warm-up game against them at Southampton, I thought our processes were really good, we won some really key moments in the game which was crucial as well.

So like I said before, it will be about which team takes them opportunities, takes that half chance and grabs the momentum and runs with it as much as they can. They are always great games. So -- I know I have played in one World Cup semifinal and it was a hell of an experience, it was an unbelievable game, so not expecting too much different.

Q. A very high-pressure game, but what are you guys going to do for the rest of the day and tonight to take your mind off things?
AARON FINCH: It is up to the individual, just feet up. I think I'm off to watch a movie with the wife this afternoon, 'The Queen's Corgi' is coming out today so I will be off to see that this afternoon. (Laughter). What's wrong with that? (Laughter) Yeah, just be individual, whatever the guys want to do. A few boys will head out and have a few coffees and try and relax and keep their feet up.

Q. On the bigger picture, your thoughts on one-day cricket as far as what this tournament has done. The 50 over game has been left behind a bit in the last couple of years, what has this tournament done for it?
AARON FINCH: The tournament has been outstanding the way that it's gone. There has been a lot of games that have gone really deep. There's been a few one-sided games but that happens when you play so many games of cricket. But all in all the standard of the cricket has been outstanding. The combination or the contest between bat and ball has probably brought it back to what we have seen during the last four years, which has been a real dominance by the bat but that's been a great part of the tournament in my opinion that everyone's had an opportunity to dominate at some point.

I know the fans want to see huge scores and lots of boundaries, lots of sixes, so... But I find the most entertaining games are those 240, 260 games when there is a bit in the wicket for everyone. If you bowl well, you get rewarded. If you bat well and get through them periods, you equally get rewarded. So I think it's shown what a really good contest between bat and ball can do.

Q. Aaron, Justin Langer spoke about redemption and looking at the bigger picture. How important has this tournament been to restore Australia's reputation not only in the Australian public's eyes, but in the cricket community worldwide?
AARON FINCH: Yeah, I think it's -- we don't play or we don't have any extra motivation because of redemption, we are representing our country each and every game and that's enough for us. But I think the way that we have gone about our cricket, the way we have gone about playing all our games has been in the right spirit, as has the whole competition. It's been one that's been played in unbelievable sportsmanship and spirit. The spirit of the game has been outstanding. So as far as redemption goes, I think that's up to the individuals to tell them stories once the tournament is over.

Q. Aaron, I wasn't here yesterday so the question might have been asked. I'd like to know about the barefoot walkabout. Was it your idea? What were you hoping to get from it? What was it all about?
AARON FINCH: No, it was JL's idea. He is quite spiritual, as most people know. He's quite chilled out and zen. So it was a chance for the boys to walk around the ground barefoot. It just feels nice actually. You should try it, it is very nice.

Q. Quite unusual, isn't it?
AARON FINCH: We have done it a little bit. Maybe just there's a few more cameras here covering a World Cup semifinal than usual.

Q. I appreciate the team selection won't come out till the morning. Can you talk to us about Glenn Maxwell's form in the tournament? How you feel he's been going and whether you think runs are around the corner for him potentially?
AARON FINCH: Yes, I think runs are around the corner. I think he would have liked to have got a few more runs, but he's been hitting the ball nicely. I think if you look at his contribution in the field, he's up there with most runs saved in the field, his great run-out at Taunton to win that game for us against Pakistan in a really tight game, the overs that he's bowled, he hasn't got the wickets but he's bowled really tight, he's bowled some key overs for us that have allowed us to mix and match our bowlers through them middle overs.

As far as the runs, I'm not bothered about that at all because the way he's batting, the way that he's going about his innings, I think there's some real positives there, so runs are just around the corner and we know how damaging he is. When he gets in, he can be as destructive as anyone in the world, so that is a real, that is a huge positive.

But I think the overall package, the three factors that he brings to the game is still a very exciting package.

Q. Aaron, what do you make of your opposite number Eoin Morgan and his captaincy and what he's done with England over the last four years?
AARON FINCH: I think the way that he's gone about being quite, I suppose he is very open with the players, the players run a lot of the stuff and the way that he's backed his players has probably been a huge thing for the success of the England side.

They sat down -- from what I have been told -- they sat down and devised a game plan, how they wanted to attack this World Cup a few years back, and they have been really supportive of all the players that they identified could have a huge impact in the tournament.

And I think that is a really crucial part, when you look at a side over four years, players are going to have ups and downs in form, but the success, the confidence that you get as a player when you are backed 100 percent by your captain, by your coach and selectors, I think is huge.

So, yeah, I think that is a huge credit to the way they have gone about it. He's obviously a very calm guy under pressure as well so that goes a long way.

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