Aaron Finch has had his fair share of troubles against India recently but his overall record is an enticing one.
There is no denying the impact of Aaron Finch at the top of the Australian batting order. With David Warner now switching to a more conservative approach of starting slow and then building steam, Finch has almost always teed off from the beginning, unleashing a powerful array of strokes all around the wicket.
Captaincy has only spurred Finch's form in the fifty-overs format. The Australian opener has an ODI batting average of 46.59 as captain with four centuries and an innings per fifty-plus score of 2.55. The corresponding numbers when not being the captain are 38.38 and 3.11.
As someone who leads the troops from the front, Finch started gaining momentum as an ODI player in 2017. Despite some underwhelming few years at the top for Australia in ODIs, he was persisted with and the fruits started showing in 2017, a year in which he jumped up after a dismal 2016 (655 runs at 28.47) and averaged 50.62 with a fifty-plus score every second innings.
Since then, Finch has only become a better batsman. In 2018, he scored 493 runs at 44.81 with three centuries and in 2019, he tallied over a 1000 runs in a year for the first time. With four centuries, the most in a year for him alongside 2014, Finch made 1141 runs at an average of 51.86.
A Finch's ODI batting summary (year-wise)
While captaincy has, in general, spurred him on, this hasn't been the case against India. In nine ODIs as captain against India, Finch has zero centuries and averages 24.33 with a strike rate in the 70s. In fact, he only has one half-century in the format as captain against the Men in Blue.
On the contrary, when not playing as skipper, he averages 51.87 against India with a strike rate close to 90 with two hundreds and six fifties. A lot of this also has to do with India exploiting Finch's problem with deliveries bowled at the stumps early on.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has time and again troubled him with the incoming delivery that goes through his defence to trap him in front or clean him up. Jasprit Bumrah's natural angle is also towards his pads, something which Finch doesn't quite enjoy.
A Finch's ODI batting summary
is not captain
43 of his 113 dismissals in ODIs are either bowled or lbw, a total of 38.05% of total dismissals which is pretty high for an opener. Against India, though, the percentage further increases with 12 of his 25 dismissals being bowled or lbw (48%).
The current Indian side has all had success against Finch with Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav (thrice) and Ravindra Jadeja all dismissing him at least two times in ODIs. Finch will have a mighty hurdle to overcome as he looks to lead the charge in a short ODI series early in 2020 in the sub-continent.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Mahmoud Khaled