Finch concedes net run rate could decide Australia’s entry into T20 World Cup semis

Australia captain Aaron Finch is keen to improve the team’s net run rate (NRR) when the defending champions meet Ireland in the Super 12 Group 1 match of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Monday, with the opening batter saying “you have to earn the right to go after a run rate performance”.

Australia’s NRR suffered immensely in their 89-run defeat to New Zealand at SCG on October 22 and the abandoned game against England hasn’t helped matters, with the 2021 T20 World Cup champions currently fourth in the Group with three points from three outing and an abysmal NRR of -1.555 — much lower than Ireland who are third in the group.

Finch, whose poor run with the bat has continued in the tournament, said ahead of the Ireland clash that the rivals cannot be taken lightly after they defeated England by five runs in the World Cup here.

Asked about the importance of the run rate as the race for the semifinal spots intensifies, Finch said, “Yeah, I think you have to earn the right to go after a run-rate performance. We’ve seen how damaging Ireland can be if you give them a sniff in a game, so you never go into a game thinking about things like that.

“I think that will naturally unfold if the opportunity presents, but first and foremost you have to do the basics well and make sure you get your team into a position that you can — if that presents it, you can push forward. I think the last thing you want to do is push too hard, leave yourself a lot to do, then you end up in a bit of a stick or twist,” added Finch.

Finch added the focus is now on winning the remaining two matches in the group and ensure maximum points and a healthy run rate.

“All we’ve got to do is try and focus on winning two games, and hopefully some things fall our way,” he added.

Finch was also happy there was no rain prediction ahead of the Ireland clash after the tie against England was abandoned.

“Yeah, very good (weather). I think it’s nice to get some blue skies and warm weather. The boys have been freezing over the last couple days, but it’s always great facilities here. I think a little challenge on some wickets that have been up for quite a while is always good fun,” he added.

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