The Ashes 2013-14: Aaron Finch warns Graeme Swann that Pup, Watto and Bails will be flying

Four of the top six batsman passed the half-century mark but runs for Root will be the most pleasing thing for England

Sydney

Aaron Finch’s words after the third day of England’s final Ashes warm-up match carried the ring of truth. He had gone in slugging and if he respected any of the opposition bowlers he still treated them all with similar disdain.

The assault was neither as brutal nor as fruitful as that which he launched at Southampton in August. Then he scored 156 from 63 balls, the highest score by a distance in a Twenty20 International. He was much more sedate for the Cricket Australia Invitation XI, in bashing his way to 59 from 60 balls. But some of his shots and the punishment they inflicted on England’s attack were enough to make the casual observer wince. He went after some loose stuff purveyed by the new ball bowlers and then thought it wise to launch into Graeme Swann.

It was to Swann he perished, attempting to slog him for a second successive six only to see the ball spiralling off the top edge to point. Finch knows that playing as he does can lead to that – “risk-reward” he calls it. But it told Swann a little of what he can expect in the coming weeks. Australia’s middle order is packed with right-handers now and they intend to be bristling against the off-spinner.

“I think we saw towards the end of the Ashes last time, they tried to attack him quite early, and had a bit of success doing that,” Finch said. “I suppose when you let a quality, world-class spinner settle in and just keep bowling, the chances are he’s going to get a wicket eventually. So if you can get on the front foot to him, try and attack him early and put him under a bit of pressure, it can help guys through the middle order. We’ve got very, very good players of spin – Pup, Smithy, Watto and Bails now – all very, very good.”

For those not acquainted with the sobriquets of the newly minted Australian middle order, they are, respectively, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, Shane Watson and George Bailey. “If that’s part of the game plan, being attacking and free-flowing against someone like that can’t be a bad thing,” Finch said. “I think that’s the way these guys play, and have had a lot of success doing that. Knowing Boof, it will be a bit of a game plan.”

Boof is the Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, and like his captain, Clarke, he does not see the virtue of trying to beat England by playing attritional cricket. If it works it could be extremely attractive to watch; if it does not – and Swann is no mug – it could be messy.

Finch was hardly less harsh on the fast bowling trio, Stuart Broad, Steve Finn and Boyd Rankin. He was far more complimentary about Finn than might have been expected. It was a struggle again for Finn on the sandy run-ups and length eluded him. But the ball with which he dismissed Callum Ferguson, full and reverse swinging in late, would have accounted for most.

“It’s obviously not ideal conditions for the fast bowlers, with the run-ups,” said Finch. “It can make it quite tough. They’d probably be mindful, going up to a Test match, trying not to overwork him in conditions like that. I thought his spell with the old ball was outstanding – reverse swing – and the ball that knocked Fergie over was probably ball of the day.”

England came out of the day ahead and perhaps more sanguine about Jonny Bairstow keeping wicket in the opening Test if Matt Prior fails to recover from his calf injury. Bairstow did nothing spectacular but he did most of his work neatly and compactly.

News
Alex Salmond said he accepted 'the democratic verdict of the people'
newsSNP leader says Scotland must move forward as 'one nation'
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week