England-Australia 2nd T20 Preview
If ever an innings deserved more than the bog-standard compliment trotted out by an opposition captain – “sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and give some credit” – then surely it was Aaron Finch’s fantastic, wonderful, magnificent knock for the Australians at the Rose Bowl on Thursday night.
The 26-year-old Victorian was a new name for most English cricket fans as he took guard in Southampton for the first of the two Twenty20 games, but they most certainly knew who he was just over an hour later after he had smashed our bowlers for 11 fours and 14 sixes in a quite astonishing 156 off just 63 balls.
One of the most amazing things about his innings was that it could have been even bigger. Finch slowed up for a while when he got into the nineties and was then out with three overs still to be bowled, by which time he was scoring at such an incredible rate that a magic double century was seriously on.
Now the big question as the short series concludes at Chester-le-Street this weekend is: can Finch do it again? Coral go 100/30 that he again top scores for the Aussies and anyone who witnessed his display of clean, brutal hitting on the south coast, will be tempted by those odds.
The 9/10 Australia to score the most sixes is also an appealing price when comparing the total maximums at the Rose Bowl – 18 for the visitors and just four for the home side.
There’s no doubt that Finch was the difference between the two sides and England should be by no means written off as they attempt to square the series – Coral go 11/10 with Australia favourites at 8/11.
Given the near hopelessness of their task, England actually did a good job with the bat, particularly Joe Root, who repaid the selectors’ faith in picking him ahead of Michael Carberry by scoring 90 from 49 balls in a spirited reply.
Root took advantage of some short balls from the Aussie bowlers and they might not be so accommodating at the Riverside, but this impressive young Yorkshireman has shown that he is equally adept in all forms of cricket and it would be no surprise to see him make another major contribution – he’s 11/2 with Coral to again top score for England.
Room may be found in England’s line-up for Carberry, but neither side are expected to make many changes for this return. Even the bowlers should be safe, despite such a savaging, especially Jade Dernbach, the pick of the attack – and relatively frugal, too.
Written by Jon Freeman