The rivalry between the two teams has defined international cricket in recent years. And yet, there is a lot of respect that players from both India and Australia have for each other and their respective strengths. While India is the No. 2 side in world ODI rankings, Australian skipper Aaron Finch believes his team's 3-2 series win in the subcontinent in March would help in the keenly-awaited ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash at The Oval on Sunday.
At a press conference on the eve of the match, Finch said that execution would be the key as both teams have a long list of world-class cricketers. He also mentioned that experience of having played against each other in recent times would be valuable. "Whenever you're playing India, you have to believe that you can beat them because they're a world-class side. They've got some all-time great players, no doubt about that. So to be able to beat them in their home conditions three times in a row was really important for the confidence of the side, especially going into a game like this," he was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council (ICC). "Winning the last three games against India in India is really important for us. It gives us some self-belief that we can beat this Indian side in their home conditions."
The contest at hand has been billed by many as a pace vs pace clash and while Finch recognises the abilities of fast bowlers in both teams, he disagrees the match would be all about them. "I think it's not just the pace bowling. Obviously both sides have had a bit of success with their spinners in the past couple of months in particular, so what it comes down to is execution," he said, adding though that early wickets could set the tempo of the match.
Finch also said that having options to choose from to make up the playing 11 is something he is not complaining about. "We have Starc, Cummins, Coulter-Nile, Behrendorff, Richardson, there's so many options there. We don't have an 11 just yet, but I think it's great that there's so much competition for spots in the team."
While Australia have defeated Afghanistan and West Indies in their opening two matches of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, India is expected to be a massive challenge. The Men in Blue are once again raring to fire after a successful opening match against South Africa.