Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch, who will be representing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League 2020 starting September 19 in the United Arab Emirates, said his focus will be to make the most of the powerplay in the batting-heavy line-up.
Finch is currently in England for three T20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals, which kick off on September 4 and end on September 16, three days before the start of the IPL.
In an interview with Sportstar, Finch talks about playing the IPL amid a pandemic, the challenges facing RCB and M. S. Dhoni.
From a family man’s perspective, how challenging is it to leave home for such a long period in the middle of a pandemic?
It honestly never gets any easier to leave home for a tour, not the least in the middle of a pandemic. Unfortunately, long periods on the road are part of being an international cricketer.
Has Cricket Australia issued a no-objection certificate yet for all Australian players taking part in the IPL, and if not, is there a time frame for it?
My NOC is yet to be finalised, and I can’t comment on the others because I am not sure.
The UAE has managed to contain the pandemic to a large extent. Do you expect the restrictions on players to be eased if the country goes out of lockdown while the tournament is on?
I don’t think so. It will be similar to Australia and the restart of the AFL (Australian Football League); the players must still stay in lockdown even though some states are free from lockdown. It will only take one player or official to get COVID-19 and the whole tournament will be done. I think it is important for the safety of the competition and the players to remain in lockdown throughout the tournament.
In Virat Kohli and A. B. de Villiers, you have two of the best batsmen in white-ball cricket in RCB. What is the role you would like to play?
Hopefully, I get a game in that batting line-up. I think if I am in the starting line-up, my role will be to try and take advantage during the powerplays and hopefully get us off to a flying start.
A.B. de Villiers and Virat Kohli at a training session. – FILE PHOTO/ K. MURALI KUMAR
In the last few years, RCB has started strongly but then fallen off the rails in the second half. Do you think that is one area that would need to be addressed in particular?
Every year there are different people in the squad, so I don’t think it is something that needs to be addressed. The nature of T20 cricket is that any team can win on any given day. I think getting off to a good start gives us the best chance to make the playoffs, so that will be the main focus.
It is a long season with the UK tour, IPL and then, the India series. Are you concerned that by the time the India series starts, the boys will be a little fatigued?
I think there will be a lot of fatigued boys. Unfortunately, during these unforeseen times in the world, we need to play our part to ensure the survival and the return of cricket. It will definitely take a toll on everyone’s bodies and will be interesting to see the different tactics and rotation of players throughout the Test series.
Dhoni retired from international cricket recently. Can you elaborate on his influence on cricketers around the world?
M. S. Dhoni’s influence on cricket was enormous. He had such a tactical mind and could read the play better than anyone else. As a captain, he is someone you idolise. He also was one of the coolest and calmest guys under pressure that I’ve ever seen, which is one reason why he was so good in international cricket.