The ‘wheel will turn’ for feeble Australia batting: Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch has admitted that self-doubt has entered Australia's batting. @AFP

Australia‘s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch has acknowledged that the team’s batting has turned a corner for the worse, but believes that “the wheel will turn” as the home summer begins. Having been swept 3-0 in the recent T20Is in Pakistan, Australia were beaten by South Africa in the first ODI in Perth by six wickets, their seventh successive defeat in the format to make it 17 losses in 19 games.

Australia slipped to 8/3 and then 66/6 before Nathan Coulter-Nile (34) and Alex Carey (33) pushed the score to 152 in 38.1 overs. South Africa romped home in 29.2 overs for a 1-0 lead in the three-ODI series. This, Finch admitted, was self-doubt setting into the batsmen’s’ games.

“You’d say that guys are probably at times doubting themselves,” Finch said after the loss on Sunday. “When you’re 8/3, you probably have to go and play a different style of one-day cricket than what you map out in your head about how you think the game will unfold. When guys are not performing as well as they can do, there’s always going to be a bit of doubt.”

Finch, however, insisted that seven months away from the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Australia would turn matters around. “It will turn,” he said. “The way we are training and preparing, the wheel will turn, and it will happen quickly.”

Dale Steyn, whose two early wickets jolted Australia’s fragile batting on a pacy and bouncy Perth Stadium surface, said that Australia did not need to fret too much given the conditions.

“I don’t think they need to be too embarrassed by it,” he said. “The conditions were tough. Throw another 30, 40 runs on there and it becomes quite a tricky chase. I think we outbowled them. I don’t think they bowled as well as they potentially could have. That was the difference.”

Asked about his decision to open the bowling with Coulter-Nile, who was hit for 16 runs and then removed, instead of Mitchell Starc or the returning Josh Hazlewood, Finch said it was an experiment to try and break an unparalleled run of defeats.

“It’s just a tactical thing to be honest,” he said. “Sixteen out of 18 losses in a row, 17 out of 19 now, we’re looking for something to try, to try some new things, something different. If you keep doing the same thing over and over it’s the definition of insanity, isn’t it?”