David Warner’s unusually slow batting in the World Cup match against India was not a new approach but a result of the quality bowling that kept the flamboyant left-hander quiet, Australian skipper Aaron Finch has conceded.
Warner scored an unbeaten 89 off 114 balls against Afghanistan but his 56 off 84 balls in a chase of 353 against India put pressure on the batsmen later on.
“No, it hasn’t been a plan — a team plan or an individual plan for David (to play slowly). I think they bowled really well early,” Finch explained after the 36-run loss that the defending champions endured on Sunday.
“They bowled nice and straight, back of the length, where the ball was just skidding quite low to start with, and they just didn’t give us any width to get away or any length to really work with, either over the top or get a drive away.
“Their bowling plans were pretty simple but really effective on a wicket like that,” Finch complemented Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for keeping the Aussies on a tight leash at the start.
The fact that Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal used the pitch better compared to Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa was also a factor, according to Finch.
“Well, they bowled really well to him early and I think particularly playing on a used wicket again for our second time in three games played a little bit of a part in that.
“Their spinners probably had a bigger impact than what ours did through the middle overs in particular, where the ball was just starting to hold up,” he said.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Stoinis have been the weak links in the Australian attack so far and Finch gave indications that there could be some change in the coming games, especially against Pakistan in Taunton.
“Yeah, like I said before, we’ll assess every option, which we do for each game. We know Pakistan is going to have quite a few left-handers in their side, but you don’t know.
“It’s hard to comment on it until you see the wicket and there haven’t been a huge amount of games at Taunton to get a read on what the wicket is going to look like, either,” he said.
There was vociferous support for the Indian team and Finch feels that Indian fans can outnumber theirs even in Melbourne or Hobart.
“I wasn’t surprised (with India’s support). India have amazing support everywhere around the world. Their fans are very vocal. They’re great to play in front of because they provide so much atmosphere.
“They are passionate about the game. At the end of the day, no matter where you play, you can play in Melbourne, you can play in Hobart, they are always going to outnumber you. They are so loud, and they’re a happy crowd,” the Australian skipper said.