Aaron Finch’s eighth one-day international century has given Australian cricket a silver lining amid the darkness of a disastrous ODI series loss to India.
Finch was forced to watch Australia lose the first two games of the five-match series from the sidelines while he recovered from a calf injury.
“It’s one of those things that you think ‘what would I have done differently in that situation’,” Finch said.
He returned for game three in Indore but even a commanding knock of 124 off 125 balls couldn’t save the visitors, who were undermined by another batting collapse.
Finch twice thought his hopes of playing in the series were dashed.
First, when he tweaked his calf playing for Surrey almost two months ago and again when he aggravated the injury in training before the series-opener in Chennai.
“I had to convince them to let me play. If it had have went again I might have been in a bit of strife,” Finch said.
Captain Steve Smith said Finch’s decision making was behind his superb innings which included 12 fours and five sixes.
“He picked the right balls to attack the spinner. He picked the right balls to go over the top with the quicks.”
Finch smashed four of his five sixes off Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
But Yadav eventually claimed his wicket when Finch hit a slog sweep straight down Kedar Jadhav’s throat at deep mid-wicket.
“You play India in India, it’s never going to be easy, you know that,” Finch said.
“You give India half a chance, a sniff in their own conditions, then it’s very hard to beat them.”
Finch provided a steady hand at the top of the order as he reunited with long-time opening partner David Warner for a 70-run stand.
Having the pair firing at the top of the order is important to providing Australia with a solid foundation, Smith said.
In 43 innings together, they’ve racked up 1787 runs at an average of 40.16 with four 100-run partnerships.
“Quite often they get off to a really good start and it allows guys to take a little bit more time and get the pace of the wicket,” Smith said.
Finch replaced makeshift opener Hilton Cartwright who was bowled for one in the first two matches of the series.