Brutal feedback shapes captain
AARON Finch has revealed how the brutally critical feedback he received from the players who voted him in has shaped his second-coming as an Australian captain.
On Friday night in Adelaide, Finch surely became one of the first players ever to win an official man-of-thematch award based purely on the strength of his captaincy.
He made 41 with the bat, but that was only the fifth highest score in a game clearly dominated by bowlers.
Finch’s honour was an extraordinary recognition of the tactical impact his decision-making had on Australia defending a sub-par total of 231, and it has set the tone for a selfless leader who listens and is willing to change his ways.
One of the most drastic changes implemented by new coach Justin Langer was an AFL-style approach where the playing group were asked to put forward nominations for the men they wanted to be their captains and vice-captains.
Finch has opened up about how his iron-clad endorsement as ODI skipper six months out from a World Cup defence didn’t come without some frank stipulations from a playing group, not afraid to point out the shortcomings they had perceived.
Players told Finch they wanted him to be less grumpy with his body language and to not talk for the sake of talking. Finch’s readiness to evolve shows the character of a true leader.
“From the leadership nominations and reasons for and against, there was some really good positive and negative feedback from the other players who nominated or recommended me,” Finch said.
“For me, a lot of [my approach] is about being able to take the negatives on board, the criticisms on board and start to work on them.
“One of them was my emotions on the field can sometimes get a little bit out of control. Not losing my temper, but getting a bit emotional. That’s something I’ve really worked on.
“The other thing that came out was, in the past, I’ve talked too much around training and it was s about making sure, when I do speak, the messages are really clear and pretty simple. “I don’t want to complicate icate things.” There’s something about Finch that the everyday person n can relate to. Walking back to the team eam hotel on match eve in his full playing kit having just posed for or a charity shoot, two Adelaide aide fire trucks drove past honknking their horns and the he firies were yelling out: t: “Hey Finchy.”
Shane Warne lauded the quality of Finch’s tactics and field placements in the triumph over South Africa in Adelaide and believes the Victorian could also be Test captain, despite e only having two matches s in the baggy green.
Finch marshalled his bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc on Friday night to perfection, rfection, something that might have surprised some, given he was as removed from the Twenty20 captaincy aincy in 2016 in favour of Steve Smith.
The 31-year-old has become ecome better at interpreting the needs of his teammates and wants to be a captain who backs them in. “In the past I’ve been someone who has talked to bowlers, particularly at the end of the innings, like every ball. Asking them what they’re bowling, and setting fields to that,” he said.
“Sometimes that can be an extra layer of emotion or extra layer of burden on them that they don’t need.
“I’m always there to give advice or talk through, but I’ve been big on them setting their own fields, so their mind can be as clear as it can.
“That comes back to preparation and knowing your opposition.”