Finch eager to show world red-ball worth
DROPPING any thoughts of getting out whenever he bats has been the key to a bumper 12 months for Aaron Finch and elevation to within touching distance of his baggy green dream.
The 31-year-old has plundered 1200 international runs with five hundreds since September last year, in 22 one-day and T20 internationals, including a world record 172 against Zimbabwe in a 20-over game in July.
He piled on another 589 runs, with two more hundreds, in just nine games in the English T20 competition in July and August to cement his spot in the Test squad which heads to the UAE on Wednesday for two Tests against Pakistan.
Finch's career haul of 4957 international runs is the most of any player before getting a Test berth, and he thought his dream had nearly passed him by as he pushed beyond a decade as a professional.
But much in the vain of Australian batting great Mike Hussey, who played all his 75 Tests after he turned 30, Finch kept making runs and knows now's the time to show he's not just a white ball wonder.
"I thought this was the time when if it didn't happen now it was less likely happen down the track," Finch said on Monday having joined the other 14-squad members in camp in Brisbane.
"You grow up in the backyard dreaming of playing Test cricket, getting a baggy green, and now it's closer than ever before.
"It's always been my number one goal, so to be closer than I ever have, it's extremely nice."
Finch said he felt for great mate Glenn Maxwell, who received a different phonecall last Tuesday, telling him he hadn't been picked.
Maxwell put that disappointment behind him to carve out 80 for Victoria in the opening one-day game of the domestic summer on Sunday, and Finch expects more big runs from his friend.
They both know every innings, and every ball counts when the goal is playing for Australia.
"International cricket is hard. It is a game where you let your guard down for a second and someone will take your spot," Finch said.
Finch doesn't know whose spot he has taken or whether, should be picked for the first Test in Dubai, he'll open, as he's done so successfully in limited overs cricket, or bat down the order, as he does for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield.
Either way, with so many runs in the bank, and so many recently, he's confident he'll find the right game plan to make the most of his opportunity.
"Playing for 10 or 12 years you build up a game plan and something that works for your pretty well," he said.
"It's not about going away from that because you are playing test cricket or in the subcontinent. I think it's about just changing your mindset slightly, no dramatic changes, and just back yourself."
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