Finch concedes he was well short of runs in Pak, but backs himself to emerge stronger

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Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch conceded on Sunday he was “well short of runs” in the recently-concluded three-match ODI series against Pakistan, but said he still felt he could fight back at 35.

Australia lost the ODI series to Pakistan 1-2 with the hosts winning the last of the three matches by nine wickets after Babar Azam blasted an unbeaten 105 to chase down the tourists’ below-par score of 210 with more than 12 overs to spare at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Finch and Travis Head were out for duck in the series decider.

It was also Australian limited-overs skipper’s second successive duck — a first in his international career. Finch has scored just 101 runs in his last eight international knocks this year, including a tough T20I series against Sri Lanka in February.

“Obviously, it hasn’t been up to scratch. I’ve been well short of runs in the Sri Lanka series and this series here, there’s no doubting that,” Finch was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.com. “I don’t need you to tell me that. It’s frustrating, no doubt, and as you get older, I think you probably question yourself a little bit more.

“But I still feel as though all my training has been really positive, it’s just been the first couple of balls, getting my pad in the way. It’s been a thing throughout my career and it would be nice if it didn’t happen — but I’m still very confident I can turn it round in the next series against Sri Lanka.”

The mediocre performances of late might force Cricket Australia (CA) to look at batting options at the top of the order, especially given that Travis Head and Ben McDermott scored a century apiece. Also, batting stalwarts David Warner and Steven Smith, and ICC T20 World Cup-winning hero Mitchell Marsh could be likely choices.

For now, Finch, who underwent a knee surgery last year and missed quite a bit of cricket, has one more match –the one-off T20I game against Pakistan — to return to form ahead of the Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka in June, which includes three T20Is and five ODIs.

Finch, however, saw positives in the 1-2 defeat to Pakistan in the ODIs. “What was really impressive was how good our quicks were at different times,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for guys like Nathan Ellis, Mitch Swepson, Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott and Cameron Green to get more bowling under their belt in international cricket against some world-class players.

“The ability to bowl to the best players in the world on really challenging wickets will help not just them but also hold the Australian cricket team in really good stead.

“It will allow us to continue to learn about the depth of the team. That’s not hiding behind the results; the ability of the guys to learn on the job in international cricket is super, and I’m really proud of how the guys tried their hearts out,” he added.

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