Upset after not finding any takers in the IPL mega auction, Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch “jumped” in excitement on getting a call from Kolkata Knight Riders to join the side as a replacement for Alex Hales.
Hales pulled out of the tournament citing bubble fatigue, opening the gate for Finch, who joined KKR at his base price of Rs 1.5-crore.
“It’s just a great competition to be a part of and I think when you’re not here you really miss it. To have the chance to train and play with the best players in the world consistently I think makes everyone better,” Finch told KKR website, on the eve of their match against Gujarat Titans.
“Yeah, of course. Yeah (I was disappointed). But then to get the call from Baz (head coach Brendon McCullum) to come and join KKR, I was very excited and jumped at the opportunity.”
The former RCB opener replaced a struggling Ajinkya Rahane at the top in their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad and his KKR debut was marked by a five-ball seven.
But he was back at his best in his last match against Rajasthan Royals, smashing a 28-ball 58, his highest IPL score since 2017.
Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup winning skipper further said in the auction day, he always has nervous feelings but this time during the mega auction in February they were playing a match in Sri Lanka so he didn’t think about it much.
“But in the years gone past, there are times when you get a little bit nervous because you’re hopeful of getting picked.
“So that’s what you miss the most and that’s what you get most nervous about, maybe missing the opportunity sometimes,” he said.
Cummins bats better in IPL
Finch was also mighty impressed with the way his Aussie teammate Pat Cummins bats in IPL.
Cummins blazed his way to a 14-ball fifty — the joint fastest IPL half-century with KL Rahul — to lead KKR to a four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians.
“Absolutely, I was taken aback by it! We call him IPL Pat because he bats a lot better in the IPL than he does for Australia,” Finch said.
“He’s played some great innings for KKR and he works hard on his batting so it was great to see him continue that aggressive mindset batting at No 7 to come out and keep swinging hard from ball one and change the momentum of the game, it was brilliant.”
Finch was also all praise for KKR’s medium pace all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who opens for the team.
“He’s very intelligent with his batting. Because he’s so tall, he’s got so many options. He’s got a great reach so teams struggle to tie him up because he’s got so many options around the ground and his ability to play both sides of the wicket.”
Finch also spoke about KKR’s aggressive brand of cricket and said his style of play puts oppositions into backfoot.
“I love that style of cricket because those days when it doesn’t happen for you but all it takes is one person to change the game,” he said.
“So when they turn up against KKR, (they) are fearful because they know they are going to come out attacking all the time.
“That automatically puts them on the backfoot a bit also. So it’s a super way to play I think. And there are days when it’s going to go wrong but that’s okay because over a 14-game season, you’re hoping that it’s going to go right more often than not,” he added.