Nearly a month has passed since Australia powered to an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand to win the Men’s T20 World Cup for the first time. Mitchell Marsh struck a ferocious 77 not out from 50 balls as Australia overhauled a target of 173 with seven deliveries to spare in Dubai.
Australia’s white-ball captain Aaron Finch looked back at the momentous win in this chat with Sportstar.
Firstly, many congratulations. Great moment. Has the T20 World Cup win sunk in yet? What does this title mean to you as a player and captain?
Now I have had some time to reflect on it. It means absolutely everything to me, no one gave us a chance to win, and no one will ever be able to take that away from us. As a captain, it truly was a unique and special experience that I will cherish forever.
Could you tell us about Marsh’s emergence at No. 3 and how that idea came about?
With Smith unavailable during the West Indies and Bangladesh series, it was a good opportunity to try something different. Mitch has dominated the BBL (Big Bash League) in the last couple of seasons batting at number 3, so we gave him a crack, and he was our best-performing player by miles in those two series. So, with that in mind, we left him at number 3 for the World Cup.
Much maligned Marsh all smiles after Australia wins T20 World Cup
Australia relied on a Test-hardened pace attack of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. Did the crossover of multi-format skills help in this case?
A good ball is a good ball, no matter what format of cricket you are playing. The difference is death bowling and executing those skills. Those three bowlers are our premier fast bowlers in Australia and are proving that time and time again, which is why they get picked in all three formats.
A word on David Warner. We know you and the management always backed him to come through. But given his struggles in the build-up, how fulfilling was it to watch him bat like that?
I absolutely love playing cricket with Davey. So, to watch him bat as he did in the tournament was so fulfilling. Every batter goes through struggling periods, such as myself, but we will always back Davey to bounce back. He is too good a player not to.
In retrospect, do you feel those T20 series losses against Bangladesh and West Indies came at the right time for the team?
Look, you never like losing, and it is never easy, but they were very different and difficult conditions for us in those two series, and to West Indies and Bangladesh’s credit, they smashed us, so it potentially was the wake-up call we needed.
Lastly, you’ll enter next year’s T20 WC at home as defending champs. Looking forward to it?
I can’t wait! To play a World Cup in front of our home supporters is truly special, and hopefully, we can perform to the level required to win again.