Aaron Finch has now broken the world record for the highest individual score in a T20I twice, and the Australian captain said that his 172 against Zimbabwe was “up there” as one of the best innings he has ever played.
“It’s nice to break my own record,” Finch said. “Satisfying. It’s something that I’ll look back on when I’ve finished playing and be really proud of. Any time you get a few out of the middle like that it’s always nice. We started off quite well, and I just got on a little bit of a roll there. It was nice to get a few away.”
Finch helped to break a couple of other records during his knock, adding the highest ever partnership in a T20I alongside D’Arcy Short, and then presiding over Australia’s largest ever win in this format. With two wins in two in Zimbabwe, the horror of Australia’s tour of England is beginning to recede, and Finch suggested that unfamiliar opponents and setting had made a big difference.
“We enjoyed our trip the UK,” Finch said, somewhat paradoxically. “The results were horrendous for us, obviously, as we lost all six games. But I can’t question how we trained or the intensity we trained at. When you get a bit of an inexperienced group together and you get on the back foot early in a series like that, you’re chasing your tail for a long time and England just didn’t let up. They didn’t give us a sniff to get back into the series at all. That’s just the quality side they are at the moment.”
“The mood in the camp has always been really positive, and I think coming here we’ve brought that confidence that we had, but probably with a bit more self belief coming into a new tournament against two sides that we haven’t played for a quite a while compared to a team that dominated us last summer in Australia and then did so again. So new opposition and new environment has made a difference here so far.”
Zimbabwe might be new opposition for the Australians, but Finch is familiar with the country – having been here five times on various tours – and also with some of its players.
Zimbabwe allrounder Solomon Mire holds Australian citizenship and scored a rookie contract with Melbourne Renegades in late 2013, training alongside Finch, who was Renegades captain. He debuted for the Renegades while Finch was away on national duty, but saw enough to be very well aware of just how destructive he could be.
“I definitely knew what he was capable of,” said Mire, whose only over in the match went for 21, with 20 of those runs coming off Finch’s bat. “I think you have to admire some of these feats. It’s not every day you get to see such hitting coming off. When it does, everyone really just… it’s quite amazing to watch, but not good for the team.”