Finch praises positive atmosphere in Australian team ahead of CWC19
May 24 (CRICKETNMORE) - Australia captain Aaron Finch insists the impact made by the returning Steve Smith and Dave Warner has given his team a massive lift heading into their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup defence.
The Aussies won the tournament on home soil four years and were champions when the event last visited England in 1999. And nothing would give Finch and team more pleasure than spoiling the party for the hosts, ranked number one in the ICC’s ODI rankings.
Much media attention and fan interest will focus on the Aussie duo of Warner and Smith whose year-long bans, handed down by Cricket Australia, came to end back in March.
In their absence, Australia’s white-ball form struggled initially before coming good earlier this year with series wins over both Pakistan and India.
But captain Finch insists the opportunity to re-call two world-class batsmen will be a delight rather than a distraction.
“Since Warner and Smith have come back into the set-up they have been fantastic and contributed so much. The morale has been unbelievable,” said the 32-year-old, who has hit 13 career ODI tons.
“Once it gets underway, particularly against England, and further on for the Ashes, the crowd will play a part but that is expected everywhere in the world.
“We have plans in place for that, and their (Warner and Smith's) squad input and output in terms of the runs they have been making has been fantastic.”
Australia might start this year’s edition as holders and five-time champions but hosts Eoin Morgan’s England will be the team to stop – according to Finch.
He added: “England have been in great form and along with India are probably the stand out performers. So England in home conditions are definitely the favourites.
“It is important to have some guys that have that World Cup experience, so to have six players in our squad who have been part of a winning World Cup is great.
“This is a different tournament but it will be a great one.”
And after downing Virat Kohli’s charges in India at the start of this year – overturning a 2-0 deficit to claim a 3-2 series win – Finch believes his side have received a real shot in the arm.