From depth of self doubt to the top of the world
Aaron Finch reveals the changes to technique and mindset that has taken him from questioning his value to the team to leading Australia to the top of the World Cup standings inside six months.
Finch revealed a change in mindset and a tightened technique were behind his stunning form reversal, which has seen his recent ODI average morph from 7.4 runs to 73.1 in 2019.
"I started to doubt my game a lot in the Australian summer, and there was a lot of times when I was just questioning every single decision that I was making, whether it was technical, mental or physical," Finch said.
"Everything that I was doing I was questioning. You're looking for an answer and you don't know what the answer is.
"So it can be really tough at times."
Finch feared he would be axed before the World Cup but at the halfway mark he leads the tournament with 343 runs and has been hailed as the standout captain.
Finch's 153 (132) against Sri Lanka was his equal-highest score and the equal-highest score of the World Cup, along with England's Jason Roy.
While Finch has been dismissed between 100-108 runs seven times in his career, he was thrilled to convert his 14th ODI ton into a monster.
"There's been a few technical things I've worked on that are just working at the moment," he said.
"And I changed my mindset a little bit more than anything. I was just going back to the basics, going back, doing a little bit of mental work on changing my mindset to just be positive.
"Andrew McDonald always says to me, 'If you get caught at mid-on or you get caught at first slip, you're still out, so play your natural game'.
"It's been nice to get a little bit of positive reinforcement."
Finch batted until the 43rd over, sharing a 173-run partnership with Steve Smith (73 off 59) that ranks No. 1 at the tournament.
"Smith's first 10 balls, 20 balls, he's very intense," Finch said.
"Non-strikers usually stand on the wicket as you get a bit more grip when running between wickets.
"But you'll notice when Steve starts his innings you get pushed further and further wide. He doesn't like to have anything in his way.
"But once you start to get into the partnership and the partnership starts flowing … he relaxes and you have a little bit of banter in the middle, which is quite nice."
While Finch was pleased at his summer learnings he said "it would've been [nice] to have that at 22 and not 32".
Australia travels to Nottingham on Sunday and will also be given Monday off, with plenty of players set to relax with a round of golf.
"We're happy where we're sitting, but definitely time to sit back and assess where we can improve and what we can do over the next couple of weeks to give ourselves the best chance to be standing on the Lord's balcony on the 14th of July," Finch said.