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July 11, 2019

Aaron Finch

Birmingham, England, UK

England - 226-2, Australia - 223

Q. Aaron, were you surprised by the way England started in the field?
AARON FINCH: No, not at all, they have done it quite a bit in this tournament. They've got bowlers that hit the seam and if there is anything in the wicket, they will certainly get it out of it. Chris Woakes, a world-class bowler, puts it in the right area time and time again. Archer is getting better and better as he's starting to play a bit more international cricket as well, so definitely wasn't a surprise.

Q. Aaron, we've seen twice in two days, once the top order goes, with a lot of teams, the middle order doesn't seem to be strong enough unless you are England. Has that been a concern that maybe you have overlooked because of the runs you and David were scoring at the top?
AARON FINCH: If it were not for our middle order today, we would have been in real trouble. We still managed to get 230-odd. I think the way that Steve and Alex formed that partnership and managed to really drag us back into the game after a tough start was really important. I think the way that they managed to soak up pressure and then slowly start to transfer a bit more pressure back on to England before we lost our way again. It was a bit of a frantic start, 3-fer in the powerplay and a good partnership and a couple of quick wickets again which always sets you back a little bit.

Yeah, I think a lot of teams have been in a similar boat. I think most of the time opening the batting has been the easiest place, so not to be today for myself and Dave and Pete at No. 4. It was tough conditions at the start. England bowled very well. We just needed to find a way through that period to really set a platform for the middle overs.

Q. Where would you say the match was won and lost today? Was it because of the way you started with the bat or would you say it was because how Jason and Jonny set the tone for England up top?
AARON FINCH: Definitely in the first ten overs of the game. We know they were going to come really aggressive at us with the bat, so we had to be aggressive with the ball, we had to take or create ten chances and take them as well, so it wasn't going to be a game, especially against England, a game that peters out into the 47th, 48th over. It was going to be ultra-aggressive and they got on top of us early with the bat.

But the damage was really done with the ball. That sets you back. That forced us to rebuild for such a long time and start to drag some momentum back and then, like I said, you lose a couple of quick wickets again, new batters starting, it is always tough against really good leg-spin and good quicks as well.

So, all in all, we were totally outplayed to be honest all throughout the day, so you look back at that and you can analyse each ten overs, but just outplayed.

Q. How disappointed are you because Australia have a good record in the semifinals. This time they were quite disappointing. How disappointed are you?
AARON FINCH: Very disappointed. We came here today expecting to win. We felt like our preparation leading in to the tournament and then the momentum we'd built-up through the tournament was really important and we came here feeling good, we trained well, we had enough break in between games and guys were fresh enough, so very disappointing.

Q. Aaron, from what you see of England at this World Cup, and obviously today, do you think they will win it now?
AARON FINCH: It will be a hell of a game. Two teams that -- New Zealand, we know they fight and scrap for every run. They are dynamic in the field. They are a team that are never out of the contest. England play a high-energy, high-risk game. Probably New Zealand, so I think it will be a great game.

Q. Glenn Maxwell was identified by you guys as someone that could win you games, he probably hasn't done that. What have you made of his tournament overall?
AARON FINCH: I thought he started off really well and got us into some really good positions with -- even the game against England, sorry India, where he started to build some real momentum. Again, probably a few starts here and there and probably not like he has done in the past gone on and got the really match-winning contribution where he takes games away from opposition so quick.

But with the ball, I know he didn't get any wickets but he was reasonably economical when he bowled and did that in some really tough places, so I know that he's disappointed. International cricket is very hard (smiling).

Q. There was a bit of talk during the week about whether Glenn would play today. Can you tell us was that close to not happening? And how many different options did you guys run through as far as your 11 goes getting closer to the match?
AARON FINCH: You weigh up every possible 11, whatever you think's the strongest 11 to win the game, matching up to England, also what is in your best interests in terms of your strengths and stuff like that, so you put dozens of teams up, dozens of combinations and that happens every game, you throw enough stuff in the air, but we were really confident to back Maxxy in to the game.

Like I said yesterday, he's such a dynamic player, that and a three -- what's it called? Three -- brings three skill-sets to the table that are really hard to ignore at times as a player and we know, we have seen how damaging and how much of a match-winner he can be in the past and we saw in the last World Cup the impact that he had in big games.

So it just wasn't to be today and it's not just that, our senior guys, myself, Davey, we didn't get going, Starcy didn't get going, Pat Cummins, guys that you expect to stand up in big games, we were just outplayed.

Q. Aaron, Jason Roy's been tipped for a possible top-order place in the Ashes series coming up. As an Australian, would you be glad not to see him play in that series given how he performed today?
AARON FINCH: He definitely goes hard having played with him for a few years now for Surrey. He's a player that when he's on he can be so damaging to an opposition and in such quick time as well. So not sure what the wickets are going to be like in the Ashes series. I think the first Test is here, is that right? So it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

But he's got some really good hundreds in county cricket, probably more so in the middle-order. That is just one of those things that if he gets going on his day, he can be brutal and he can score so quick in all forms of the game, he is a very dangerous threat no doubt.

Q. Just considering where you go as a team and getting to a semifinal, is that a reflection as a success or failure? And how much was Usman Khawaja missed today?
AARON FINCH: Usman was missed a lot, no doubt. He is a world-class player. He started to get some really good runs and really good momentum into this back half of the tournament so that was really stiff when he did his hamstring there.

In terms of where we were 12 months ago, obviously I think we have made a huge amount of progress. Really proud of everyone involved for how much hard work and how far we have come, but at the same time we came here today to win a semifinal and get ourselves into a position to win another World Cup.

So that was really disappointing how it ended, especially to put up probably one of our worst performances overall for the tournament, so that was really disappointing.

But really proud of where we have come from and the gains that a lot of players have made over the last 12 months in particular.

Q. Can I ask you about Alex Carey? How is he? What happened and how much bottle did it take for him to carry on?
AARON FINCH: He's very tough. I think the grille got pushed back into his, the ball got pushed back through the grille. He had seven or eight stitches in his jaw there and he was a bit sore on the other side, but, apparently, he looks all clear for any clinical tests for a fracture or anything like that, so he's very tough.

It would take a bit more than that to get him out of the game and he did a fantastic job today as well. He was a part of a really good partnership there with Steve to get us to a half competitive total.

Q. What did you make of the atmosphere here today? Did it have any sort of detrimental effect on you guys and is it something that maybe Australia have got to be a bit more mindful of in the rest of the summer?
AARON FINCH: No, I think you always expect that when you turn up here. The Hollies out there are always loud. It's a great place to play cricket. I know it sounds a bit stupid after we have lost and we don't have a great record here, but it's a great place to play.

The atmosphere -- they appreciate good cricket as well as obviously supporting England heavily. But they do appreciate good cricket. It is great fun playing here. It's -- no doubt throughout the Ashes series it will be loud as well wherever you go.

Q. Aaron, we saw England four years ago after they got knocked out of the World Cup strip everything back and spend four years building. Do you think that is now the template, would that be a strategy that you guys look at and say a clean slate and it will all be about 2023?
AARON FINCH: I think that after a World Cup you always start looking and you have one eye towards the next one. I think that as a management, senior players, I'm sure over the next -- not sure when our next one-dayer is to be fair -- over the next couple of months or so we will sit down and start talking about that and start planning how we think that we can best plan and prepare and improve over the next four years to get us to go, well two steps further.

Yeah, I think that every team will do that. You start looking at what you can improve most, areas that you can identify that you need some work to be done and that will happen no doubt -- that happens naturally with players when you are talking about the game and trying to find ways to improve.

But as a coaching staff, as a management, that will be really important as well that everyone gets on the same page and everyone pulls in the same direction which is what we have done. We have been really lucky. Everyone has bought into the way we have played and it is unfortunate we have come up short.

Q. Given the heavy defeat today and the first Test is here at Edgbaston, do England have a psychological edge going into that match?
AARON FINCH: No, I don't think so. I think with different players -- there's -- there will be a high turnover of players I would imagine. In terms of the squad, there will be 16 picked for the Ashes. So there will be maybe not a high, half players maybe turned over. So I don't think that the guys carry too much baggage when you are going between formats. If we rolled up and played a one-dayer tomorrow, there might be a few scars there, but in terms of the Test, I don't think so.

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