Aaron Finch feels that the team are a little too far behind the game.
Aaron Finch feels that the team are a little too far behind the game.

After being bundled out for 145 in their first innings in the 2nd Test against Pakistan, Australia find themselves behind the eight-ball for the second time in the series, and opener Aaron Finch feels that the team are a little too far behind the game.

“I think that first innings is always key to set up the game,” Finch said at the end of day’s play. “We’ve seen Pakistan in the first Test go really big in the first innings and that gives them freedom in the second innings to play as aggressive as they want or as conservative as they want and then the game’s in your hand. You can pull out when you want and declare. Same again in this game, we’ve left ourselves a little bit too far behind the game.”

Australia’s batting had come under the scanner in the first Test where they imploded from a healthy 142/0 to 202 all out, thus conceding a vital passage of play to the opposition. In the second Test, Australia let go of the advantage after having Pakistan under the pump at 57/5. Pakistan went on to make 282.

In reply, it was a steady slide for Australia, after the early dismissal of Usman Khawaja. Finch top-scored with 39 as Australia conceded a lead of 137 runs, which at stumps have been extended to 281. Debutant Fakhar Zaman made Australia toil with this second fifty of the match.

Finch conceded that aided by Zaman’s attacking brand of cricket, Pakistan were able to pull ahead.

“So as soon as [Fakhar] Zaman comes out and plays aggressively and takes the game away in a few overs, then all of a sudden you’re unsure whether to keep your catchers in or retreat and try to control the scoreboard. That’s the beauty of going big in your first innings, you control the game. It goes a long way to winning games,” he said.

While Australia got out of jail in Dubai in the first Test with a terrific rearguard effort from Khawaja and skipper Tim Paine, it might prove to be more difficult for Australia to repeat the performance on a lively Abu Dhabi track.

“Traditionally, wickets do get harder and harder to bat on, so we’ve probably left ourselves a little bit too much work to do at the back end of games in the past, which no doubt we’ll address and, hopefully, going forward we can keep improving on that,” he added.