India vs Australia | 'Finch Showed a Game and Technique That Can Stand up in Pressure': Ponting
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has termed Aaron Finch a 'bright prospect' insisting the opener has shown that he has the game to stand up at Test level.
Finch had critics breathing down his neck after the first Test in Adelaide where he could only manage scores of 0 & 11. The hard-hitting opener, however, shrugged off his doubters as he scored a fluent 50 from 105 balls forging a 112-run opening stand with Marcus Harris to get Australia off to an excellent start in the second Test at Perth.
"What it showed today to everybody, and more importantly to himself, is that he has got a game that can stand up opening the batting at Test level," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"He's been working hard on a few things over the last few weeks and I know Justin Langer did a lot of really good stuff with him in Adelaide on the night the (first Test) finished, a few balance things and few thing to take the weight out of his front leg and not fall so much across his stumps.
"He had a few moments today where he did that a little bit, but in general I thought he played really well. He looked to be aggressive, play the ball off the back foot, which is a really good sign for him. It means he's not getting onto the front foot too early."
Ponting and Australia head coach Justin Langer were seen talking to Finch in the lead up to the Perth Test on a number of occasions. Finch's Achilles heel - full ball coming into the pads - was a problem which Ponting also faced early in his career.
Having worked on it with Ponting, Finch seems to have now rectified that issue and was adamant to not get out in that fashion in Perth.
"From Adelaide, in both innings there where he was undone by big in-swinging deliveries, to be able to come out today and look pretty much at ease early on against the in-swinging ball goes to show that he can do it," Ponting said.
"The way that he plays, looking to get forward and across his stumps, is sort of the way I played. It was the little things that I had to work on right through my career, just to help out with my balance and 'un-weighting' my front leg if you like, to load up a bit of weight on my back foot and making one move into the ball rather than trying to make two or three movements.
"The most important thing with Aaron is that I'd rather see him being beaten on the outside of the bat, not the inside of the bat. If he thinks about staying leg-side of the ball and not over-committing to the line too early then I think he's got a very bright future at Test level."
While Ponting was impressed with the way Finch absorbed the pressure and found a way to score runs against a quality opposition in India, the former Australian captain was left disappointed in the way the opener was dismissed - trapped lbw to a straighter one by pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
"He'd be disappointed to get out the way he got out after being 50 and batting a long period of time then missing a full, straight one. That's more of the reason why he'd be upset at getting out the way he did," quipped the Australian great.
"He'd done the hard work against the new ball and where batting should have been at its easiest is where he got out. But, that's the thing I'm most pleased of that he's shown everyone a game and technique that can stand up in pressure."