Even after conceding a convincing 8-wicket loss at the hands of England in the second semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2019, Aaron Finch stressed there were plenty of positives from their campaign that ended at Edgbaston. Australia were in turmoil about a year ago and trying to rebuild the ODI side with Steven Smith and David Warner serving a 12-month ban. When the duo did join the side, a lot of the resurrection job had been done and Australia reaped rewards for the way they rebuilt the squad.
We came here wanting to win
"A lot of positives to take out of the World Cup campaign. We've come a long way since the last time we were in England. You always want to win, you come thinking you can win, but there have been positives. In the last six months or so, there has been a lot of character shown, but it still hurts," Finch said. "We came here with a couple of injuries but that's not an excuse. We came here wanting to win but it wasn't to be."
Things went pear-shaped pretty early for Australia as Finch fell for a first ball duck. Warner too failed to get going and Peter Handscomb, playing his first game of the tournament, managed just four as Australia found themselves reeling at 14 for 3. Alex Carey and Smith (85) got the innings back on track but were always under pressure. "Totally outplayed today. The way they set the tone with the ball and getting to 27/3 after ten overs was a huge part of the game.”
"And it was too hard for us to get back from. You do expect the new ball to seam first up, but they bowled really well by targeting the stumps and bowled a great length, something that we tried to do as well. They played exceptionally well, know how dynamic, dominating they are. It's just one of those days, things didn't go our way and when you don't execute your plans well, you get hurt by a really good team."
Things, however, could have been a lot different for Finch's side had they won against South Africa. That loss, in the last league game, meant they finished second and took on England. If they had won the game, they would have finished on top of the points table and taken on New Zealand. "You've got to beat everyone in every condition," Finch said. "You can't read too much into that."