Under-pressure Aaron Finch insisted Monday he was still “a pretty good" player after a horror run with the bat as Australia’s limited overs captain bids to find form against New Zealand this week.
The 35-year-old opener managed just 15, one and five in Australia’s 2-1 ODI series win against Zimbabwe last week, following two consecutive ducks in the final two games of their recent series in Sri Lanka.
With the T20 World Cup on home soil in October fast approaching, his position is under increasing scrutiny.
Finch has three matches against the world’s top ODI side in the Queensland city of Cairns, starting Tuesday, to stop the rot and silence the critics.
“You’re always looking to improve and being able to train consistently and keep tinkering with my game to get better is the most important thing, it is what you are always striving to do," he told reporters.
“Obviously, personally, the performances haven’t been there in terms of the output of runs but I still feel like I’m a pretty good player.
“I’m feeling really good… I had a good long hit in the nets, probably longer than I normally have the day before a game. Obviously not having as much time in the middle lately lends itself to more training unfortunately."
The home team head into the series after being embarrassed by Zimbabwe in Townsville on Saturday, crashing by three wickets to hand the world’s 13th-ranked side an historic first win over the cricketing powerhouse in Australia.
An even sterner test awaits from the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand.
“They continue to be one of the benchmarks in world cricket in all three formats of the game," Finch said of the Black Caps.
“They are always close battles whatever the format… they go the distance generally."
Coach Andrew McDonald has indicated he could tinker with the line-up.
“You’ll see the balance of our team start to shift from game to game at times, just making sure that we’re covering all the bases," he said.
New Zealand are in Cairns on the back of a 2-1 ODI series win in the West Indies last month, with Williamson anticipating “a really tough challenge".
“They’re very clinical, certainly in their own backyard," he said.
“So for us as a team, it’s great to be over here and playing in another Chappell–Hadlee (series).
“It’s three one-dayers and pretty quick time, but for us as a white-ball unit, there’s a lot to gain from this."