‘Steve Smith just said to him, “You’ve got to review that!”‘
Australia captain Aaron Finch has found form with the bat but also taken his leadership to another level, according to coach Justin Langer.
Finding form with the bat isn’t the only improvement that captain Aaron Finch has made over the past month.
Finch’s turnaround helped Australia secure an ODI series victory over Pakistan in the UAE, where the final match starts at 10pm AEDT on Sunday.
The captain has already scored 398 runs in the series, the most by any Australian in a five-match ODI series.
The runs have come a month after Finch’s position in the side was being debated by pundits in light of a concerning form slump.
Coach Justin Langer believes Finch’s captaincy, which played an unheralded role in Friday’s six-run win, has also gone from strength to strength during tours of India and the UAE.
Finch kept his composure during a dramatic end to Friday’s clash in Dubai, where Pakistan lost despite requiring 66 runs from the final 10 overs with two well-set batsmen at the crease and eight wickets in hand.
“Finchy is doing a great job. He’s getting better all the time,” Langer said.
“He would have taken confidence out of the Big Bash final as well. As a captain you’ve got to live it, you’ve got to have those really positive experiences (in close games).
“He’s just growing. He’s doing a really good job. He’s obviously batting well and he’s doing a really good job (captaining).”
Finch’s return to form has come in the same country that hosted his impressive Test debut, which was the start of a topsy-turvy six months for the opener.
The Victorian was axed from the Test XI after the Boxing Day Test, struggled to score runs in the ensuing ODI series at home against India then turned the corner earlier this month with a knock of 93 in India.
“He’s had a long, hard summer and he’s getting better towards the end of it,” Langer said.
“Great resilience, great durability and it also shows great leadership.
“Because often what happens at the end of a summer, guys can start going south. He’s actually getting better and better.”
Meanwhile, Imad Wasim has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee for Pakistan’s slow over-rate in the fourth ODI.
Imad, leading Pakistan in the absence of rested regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed plus injured stand-in captain Shoaib Malik, pleaded guilty to the offence.
Imad’s teammates were fined 10 per cent of their match fees.