After Australia completed a remarkable comeback from being humiliated by England in the Super 12s to winning the T20 World Cup, sweeping New Zealand aside in the final with a display that perfectly fused attitude and ability, Aaron Finch insisted that even at their lowest ebb he never saw his side as anything other than champions in waiting.
“I think a few things would have had to go our way to do that but honestly we had such belief in our group that we were good enough, that our team, our squad were the right players and as good as anyone in the world,” the Australia captain said. “Don’t get me wrong, in T20 cricket you need a bit of luck and we won six out of seven tosses which goes a long way, but we also played some really good cricket. This team is pretty special. The camaraderie, the way that everyone really cares for each other and looks after each other, looks out for each other – pretty special.”
In another remarkable turnaround having come into the World Cup in desperate form David Warner ended it as player of the tournament, having scored 289 runs, including 191 in his last three innings and 53 off 38 in the final. “You didn’t expect that? I certainly did,” Finch said. “No word of a lie, I called Justin Langer a few months ago and said, ‘Don’t worry about Davey, he’ll be man of the tournament.
“He’s a great player, one of the all-time great batters and he’s a fighter. He’s someone who when his back’s against the wall, that’s when you get the very, very best of David Warner. It was a special finish to the tournament for him, the last couple of knocks.”
It was New Zealand’s third white-ball World Cup final in six years, a superb achievement particularly when coupled with their victory in the World Test Championship earlier this year, but all three have been lost. “You sign up to play the game, and you win or you lose. These are things that can happen on any day,” their captain, Kane Williamson, said.
“If you look at the campaign as a whole, and the type of cricket we have been able to play, I can say we are very proud of our efforts through this period of time. You get to a final and anything can happen. We turned up and played some really good cricket, and it wasn’t quite enough.”