Speaking to CricketNext, Finch said that it has been a great experience to play under Ashwin and it is amazing how the spinner has managed to motivate the team as a unit and helped them perform as a group in tense situations. Finch feels that the calmness that Ashwin exudes on the field comes from none other than Dhoni, the man often referred to as Captain Cool.
“I think Ashwin has been outstanding. While he hasn’t had a lot of experience of leading the side in the past, he has been a successful cricketer and has brought that to the table as a leader. He brings the group together and speaks to individuals before the game. Along with chief coach Brad Hodge, Ashwin has legft no stone unturned when it comes to preparations for a game. He is very calm and that comes with playing under MS Dhoni. MSD is a cool guy and Ashwin has also been calm and made some great decisions,” he revealed.
While the KXIP franchise has been on a roll this season, Finch feels that having the right combination of youth and experience has helped the unit. Also, he feels that having Indian players who have fired is a major reason for the success achieved.
“Teams who have won in the past has been those teams where the Indian players have done well. This year round, we have had some quality performance from the Indian players and hopefully we can continue doings this. The team has also been aggressive and that I think has also helped. The batting and bowling in the powerplay has been special and highlights why we have been successful. Having experienced campaigners like Gayle, Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh has also helped as we have a good mix of youth and experience,” he said.
While Finch has himself failed to contribute this season, the batsman is happy to see the duo of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul fire at the top. And the batsman is more than happy to graft and try and contribute in the middle-order, rather than spoiling the successful partnership at the top.
“I think they are playing beautifully at the top and that is a huge bonus as Gayle is one of the best T20 players and Rahul has also played like one of the best. Gayle is playing injury-free and enjoying the game and that is important. They are playing beautifully and I would love the opportunity to bat at the top, but I think these guys are doing really well. Been a disappointing fact that I have not contributed, but we have been improving as a unit and the team has still done well and that is a great sign. Couple of us haven’t been scoring heavily, hopefully we can make an impact in the business end. To win the championship everyone has to contribute and that is something we are looking to change. I have been doing extra sessions and T20 isn’t easy,” he said.
“I don’t think it hampers where I bat. I have opened the batting for Australia and other franchises. But I batted in the middle-order for Gujarat Lions and that was a great learning experience. So hopefully, I will get better as I do it more. Just looking to improve my game.”
The IPL is as much about mentoring the youngsters as it is about performing against the best in the business and Finch says he is loving working closely with the youngsters. “It has been great mentoring the youngsters, they are looking to learn. And having played in different conditions, it is important to share these experiences with the youngsters. It is an opportunity to learn from each other and they must keep asking questions,” he smiled.
While KXIP have done well as a unit, the form of old warhorse Yuvraj Singh isn’t something to write about. But Finch feels that it is a matter of time before the senior campaigner fires. “Yuvraj has been hitting the ball really well and is a world-class player. We have seen him do the job not just in the IPL, but also for India over the years. I have no doubt he will come back to his best very soon,” he signed off.
First Published: May 7, 2018, 8:23 AM IST