Despite being his country’s captain and one of the most top ODI batsmen in the world, Finch felt “huge anxiety” after going nine ODI innings without a fifty.
He secured his World Cup spot with two hundreds and two scores in the 90s on the recent ODI tour of Asia.
“(I was feeling) huge anxiety based on a World Cup coming up, being captain of the side and not having the output I wanted,” he told Melbourne radio station SEN.
“I was getting really frustrated that, again, I was preparing and doing everything I thought I could to succeed but it just wasn’t happening. I don’t know why. It was probably just my own mindset, I was starting to think a bit negatively.
“The support I got from the players and coaches was unbelievable, but still in the back of your mind you think: ‘there’s a World Cup not far away, as a captain of the side I could be left out’. Then you start putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to perform. (Recent good form) just re-assured me that I still am a pretty good player. You don’t lose your skill overnight," the 32-year-old said.
Finch had a turbulent 2018-19 season, with the high of a maiden Test campaign and being named Australia’s ODI skipper off-set by his axing from the Test side in January and an extended run of low scores.
“My chances to play Test cricket again have probably slipped away.
“I’m still very grateful for the opportunity and (while) I would change the results, I wouldn’t change the journey and the learning that I’ve had from it.
“I never take optional (training) sessions off. I’ve always had a fear that if I don’t go and I fail, what would have happened if I did go? But if I did or didn’t go, it probably wouldn’t change my performance. But I don’t want to ever leave that to chance. Looking back now, it’d be a lot easier to make that decision (to not go to every training session). It’s just unfortunate that I probably won’t get that chance again.
“You have to trust not over-training. I never missed a training session, I went to every optional training session. I think at times, looking back, it would have been better to go and play 18 holes (of golf) and put the phone away,” he said.
Australian opener Finch managed more than 25 just once in six innings at home in the series defeat to India this season, before being dropped for the final Test.
“I gave it everything I could, and I didn’t leave any stone unturned,” he said.
“Reality was, the Indian bowlers were better than me at the time. Whether that’d be the case in 12 months’ time or five years later, we won’t know. But they were better than me, I can live with that. I’m OK with being beaten on the day if I’ve prepared as well as I can.”
The Victorian is now fully focused on defending the World Cup crown that Australia won in 2015 at home. Their title defense will get underway against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.
First Published: May 1, 2019, 3:17 PM IST