AUCKLAND (AFP) – In-form opener Aaron Finch shrugged off concerns that a rusty Australia will be caught cold by high-flying trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on Saturday in what will be their first World Cup match in two weeks.
The Black Caps have won three games while Australia, who started their campaign with a thumping 111-run victory over England on February 14, saw their scheduled second match against Bangladesh abandoned due to heavy rain without a ball being bowled in Brisbane last weekend.
Finch, who scored 135 in the Melbourne romp against England, said the two-week break will not be an issue when the two Pool A rivals meet at Auckland’s Eden Park.
“We came off a good game against England and we’ve had no problems really,” said Finch of the game on February 14 — the opening day of the six-week World Cup.
“We’ve been training well during the week and had a pretty solid session on Saturday when we were meant to play. We’re feeling good and ready to go.”
Surprisingly the 28-year-old Finch has never played a one-day international against New Zealand despite making his debut in January 2013 and having notched up 42 games.
That is due to the fact that Australia’s last one-dayer against New Zealand was in the 2011 World Cup, while a game in the Champions Trophy in England two years later was called off as a no-result due to rain.
Finch, who was not in the side then, praised New Zealand’s new-ball pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
“Their bowling at the top of the innings has been outstanding with Tim Southee and Trent Boult and guys chipping in,” said Finch.
Southee recorded the best-ever one-day bowling figures by a New Zealander when he took 7-33 in the comprehensive eight-wicket win over England in Wellington on Friday.