Devon Conway has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup final but Aussie skipper Aaron Finch says the Kiwis will be able to cover for his absence.
Aaron Finch is expecting Australia’s date with T20 destiny to be a tightly-contested affair, despite New Zealand suffering an 11th-hour injury blow to a crucial member of its squad.
New Zealand will be without Devon Conway for the T20 World Cup final on Monday morning (AEDT), after the wicketkeeper-batter broke his hand punching his bat in Thursday’s win over England.
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Conway’s 46 runs were crucial to New Zealand’s semi-final run chase and while Finch said his absence would be felt, the Aussie skipper rejected suggestion that the injury would give Australia the upper hand.
“Conway’s been such a consistent player for them, he’s someone who plays spin really well through the middle overs,” Finch told reporters on Saturday afternoon (AEDT).
“He’ll be a big loss for them no doubt but they’ve got a really, really good squad,” Finch said.
“Whoever they bring in for that role will still be a really big challenge.”
The lessons learned from the sides’ recent five-match T20I series, which New Zealand won in the final game, are still fresh in Finch’s mind.
Finch said if experience had taught him anything, it was that the Aussies would need to go blow-for-blow with the “disciplined” Kiwis for the whole game to have any chance of tasting T20 World Cup glory for the very first time.
“I think any time you play New Zealand you know how great a contest it’s going to be,” Finch said.
“You have to be on for all 40 overs if you’re going to get over the line.”
“(New Zealand) seem to just hang around for long enough in any kind of contest and wear you down.
“That’s what we’ve learned over the years, that they fight and scrap in every situation.”
“They’re a great side.”
Finch said the Aussie batting order needed to be wary of New Zealand’s ability to strike in the Powerplay, lest the Aussies suffer a repeat of the collapse that ultimately cost them a win in the Super 12 clash against England.
“New Zealand have been the dominant team in the World Cup in the Powerplay with the ball,” he said.
“It should be a great contest, it always is.
“We can’t wait.”
New Zealand will need to make at least one selection change but Finch, who will meet with coach Justin Langer for a selection meeting on Saturday evening (AEDT), remained tight-lipped on the Aussie 11 for the final.
Finch said he expected that when it came to the side’s line-up, “not a huge amount would change” for the most important game on the Australian cricket calendar so far this year.
“We’ll bring everything we’ve got to the game,” he said.
“May the best team win on the day.”