Two games into Australia’s World Cup defense and their tournament is likely to go on the line against England on Friday night.
With both nations on a losing streak, defeat at the MCG is likely to spell the end of their World Cup aspirations.
Australia’s selection has been debated in the do-or-die match, with captain Aaron Finch’s place at the top of the order under huge pressure with the 35-year-old’s form ruling the final tournament.
Alan Border said earlier this week that he would drop Finch.
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Finch said Thursday that he doesn’t feel any more pressure than he ever has.
“Everyone has their own opinion, that’s normal. I don’t care about people’s personal opinions. I don’t read or listen to any of that,” Finch said defiantly in response to Border’s comments.
“I don’t feel any more pressure than I ever have. The only pressure is the expectations you put on yourself and I think that’s what comes with being a decent player on a good side.
“You put pressure on yourself to perform because you want the team to win. The other day I fought back a little, but it can happen.”
He is not the only one under pressure, with calls for Cameron Green to replace Pat Cummins.
Finch, however, defended his star bowler.
“His results in the last 18 months have been outstanding in T20 cricket,” he said.
“Sometimes I find it strange when people come with election chat. He has been incredible in all three formats for a long time. The calmness he brings to the bowling group and the experience is invaluable.”
Fox Cricket spoke to some of the game’s bigs to find out what their XIs will be ahead of the crucial World Cup group match.
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“I brought Green into the team to replace Cummins, which is a gamble with only two front speeds. But I believe Green has the potential to bowl four overs as well as a specialist fast bowler, plus Marcus Stoinis has found some form with the ball, which also provides back-up options.
Green will open the batting in place of Finch, and Finch may move down the order 5-8. Go get them.’
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“I ruled Finch out for this game. I just think he’s really struggling and where he’s hitting (opening) is in a virtual elimination game. I think we can do better with Smith at the top of the order or even Cameron Greene. It’s a tough challenge, but I think it’s necessary. A bit of the same for Cummins’ exit and Green’s involvement. It’s just a feeling, and only for this game. I hope Australia win and then reassess!”