Cricket World Cup 2019: Aaron Finch puts faith in Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins as Australia chase aggression
Australia captain Aaron Finch expects a strong World Cup from Mitchell Starc. © Getty

The Australia skipper Aaron Finch has tipped teams with superior fast bowling attacks to emerge successful at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, while singling out the middle overs of ODIs in England as the area where matches can be done with pace.

A high-scoring World Cup in England this summer has been predicted, with the likes of David Warner and Glenn Maxwell expecting record totals and Brett Lee forecasting a tough time for bowlers once the shine wears off the ball.

Talking of the threat that his own pace team-mates Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins could pose at the World Cup, Finch said that Australia will look to be aggressive with the ball to try and dismiss opponents for totals that are achievable.

“All the trend and stats suggest that in the last couple of years in one-day cricket the teams that have taken the most wickets in the middle overs have been successful,” Finch said during the third and final one-day practice match between the Australia XI and New Zealand XI at Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Friday, which the hosts won by five wickets.

“That’s something that we’ve identified as an area that we really want to try and nail. There is talk about whether you have a burst with Starc or Cummins in the middle overs, and that’s going to come down to the day; if someone gets off to a flyer, then you have to keep rolling out your big guns and making sure you’re looking to take wickets in the Powerplay.”

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Starc this week returned to the team after three months on the sidelines with injury and claimed 2/14 in five overs against the New Zealand XI on Wednesday. The left-arm quick bowled near the 150kph mark in that match and on Friday bowled eight overs, from which he claimed 1/35.

Starc was Player of the Tournament in the 2015 World Cup for taking 22 wickets at 10.18 apiece.

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“He was unstoppable in that World Cup so if he’s anywhere near there, it will be very valuable,” said Finch. “He’s a world-class bowler, he’s proved that in big tournaments, big games, big moments. It’s really encouraging that he’s been swinging the ball these last couple of days, which is such a valuable asset, especially at the top of the order.”

Cummins, who in March was sent home from the ODI tour of the UAE to rest up before the World Cup, took two wickets in his first over during the opening one-dayer against the NZ XI, was rested for the second match and in the third finished with 4/32 from his eight overs.

With Jhye Richardson ruled out of the World Cup, Australia will rely on Starc, Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson, with Marcus Stoinis offering a back-up seam option.

Australia open their World Cup campaign on June 1 against Afghanistan at Bristol.