Australia captain Aaron Finch believes his side’s proven ability to handle World Cup pressure will stand them in good stead when they face England in a crunch game on Tuesday. If World Cup holders Australia defeat their arch rivals at Lord’s, it will damage hosts England’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals.
England may have been the pre-tournament favourites but they have never won the World Cup, whereas Australia have lifted the trophy five times.
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“I think that over the World Cup history, Australia have had a very good history of peaking at the right time,” Finch told reporters at Lord’s on Monday.
“Over a lot of that history Australia have played their best cricket under the greatest pressure.
“And that’s a good lesson for everyone, the fact that we’ve got six guys in our squad who were part of the 2015 World Cup win is really valuable,” the opening batsman added.
“We’re going in with a lot of confidence no doubt, we’ve been playing some really good cricket.
“But it’s about the team that holds their nerve the longest and under the highest pressure that will succeed.” Australia’s coaching staff also includes former World Cup winners in Ricky Ponting, a three-time champion and captain of the victorious 2003 and 2007 sides, as well as Brad Haddin, the wicket-keeper in 2015.
“We’ve got Ricky Ponting with us, and Brad Haddin, as coaching staff who have won World Cups as well,” said Finch.
“So it’s just about the shared experience of what you might feel in a knockout game or a high-pressure game.
“Those experienced guys can almost share what you might be feeling, so you can almost be prepared for it before you’re in that situation. That’s invaluable.”
However, England captain Eoin Morgan has insisted his side’s defeats by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, did not imply a loss of nerve heading into their concluding group fixtures with Australia, India and New Zealand.
“Guys have performed under pressure for a long time, they have performed as favourites in series for the last two years,” said Morgan.
“I’ve no questions of us performing under pressure. I don’t think nerves played a part at all.”
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And Finch expects wounded England to be an even tougher proposition following their shock loss to Sri Lanka last time out.
“They tend to bounce back and go ultra aggressive, so we’re ready for that,” said Finch. “We’re expecting them to come out and go ultra-hard."