London [UK]: Australia skipper Aaron Finch praised Steve Smith after he played an unbeaten knock of 91 runs in the third clash with New Zealand XI in Brisbane on Friday.
“His [Smith] timing and class was back again. It was like he hadn’t left. His drives down the ground on a really difficult wicket to time off the front foot was so impressive, just the amount of time he spent in the middle and how he went through the gears was very impressive,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Finch as saying.
Australia XI, under the leadership of Alex Carey, won the match by five wickets (DLS method).
As far as World Cup is concerned, Finch believes that it is a ‘big advantage’ to have six experienced players, who featured in the 2015 edition of World Cup as it will play a crucial factor when they will step out on the field to defend their title.
Finch, Smith, Maxwell, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins featured in the previous edition of the quadrennial tournament and will be aiming to claim the tournament for the sixth time.
“I think it’s a big advantage, just to know what it takes to win a World Cup and what it takes to manage your way through a campaign which can be difficult,” he said.
“Six guys who have been there and done that will give a lot of experience to the others of what to expect, what to feel walking out there because it is different,” he added.
Regardless of the fact that Australia has improved many folds in the recent months, Finch still feels that they have a lot of questions to answer.
“I think it’s just about giving everyone an opportunity at the top of the order to get some game time as much as anything. I think it’s a good opportunity to mix and match and with the three games in the UK we might keep everyone guessing a bit, but the honest answer is, no, we don’t have a definitive answer on what that will look like at the moment. There are a lot of questions still to be answer but we are in a great place to do that,” he said.
Australia will face Afghanistan in their first World Cup clash on June 1.