Ranchi: Brain and its fading seems one of the major concerns for Australian batsmen in India, apart from Indian wrist spinners Kuldeep Chahal and Yuzvendra Chahal of course.
After captain Steve Smith’s rather infamous brain fade in Dharamshala while turning towards the dressing room for assistance in DRS usage earlier this year, Aaron Finch came out with a sequel in Ranchi – a far less dramatic one though.
The Australian opener said he had "a little bit of a brain fade" as he failed to read Kuldeep Yadav's left-arm wrist spin and got out, which triggered Australia's downfall in their nine-wicket defeat to India in the first T20 in Ranchi.
Finch looked determined to play the sweep shot. After playing five sweep shots, Yadav bowled one fuller that breached his defence and he was out for 42.
"I found that playing the sweep was going to be the safer option. One to get off strike and to get a boundary if I could hip the gap. That ball I got out on was a little bit of a brain fade to be fair," he said at the post-match news conference.
"I went to sweep then just tried to chip him into the onside for one and missed it. That happens in the game, in particular T20."
After Finch's dismissal, the Australia middle-order crumbled to be struggling at 118 for 8 when rain curtailed their innings and gave India an easy D/L target of 48 in six overs, which the hosts comfortably achieved with three balls to spare.
"I thought on that wicket to Kuldeep, sweeping was a safer option than trying to take him over the top where some balls were spinning, it was hard to judge the bounce on a track. That was quite difficult."
Finch felt if the match had gone the distance they could have had a chance with a score of 135 as the wicket was difficult at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
"I would not call it a debacle. Trying to defend 48 in six overs with India having 10 wickets in the shed in a format of the game they're particularly good, is difficult. Obviously there are some areas that we could improve.
"I think if it was a 20-over match, 135 would have been a fantastic score on that wicket."
As for the batting, Finch said: "There's a few different players coming into the middle order who have not faced guys like Kuldeep. It was a very challenging wicket to start on in particular against the spin.
"Towards the end of the innings where you had (Jasprit) Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) bowling back of a length and they're skidding through at the stumps. It's not easy to hit. Unfortunately we just kept losing wickets."
Giving credit to the Indian bowlers, Finch said the hosts formulated their plans quite nicely.
"We just seemed to keep losing wickets at the wrong time. No one ever means to get out. They bowled exceptionally well. A tough loss to take. I think in the end it was probably reasonably generous giving us mid-40s after six overs."
Finch also backed his teammate in state and domestic cricket Glenn Maxwell, who is going through a lean patch.
He scored just 17 after being promoted to No. 3. He became Yuzvendra Chahal's victim for the fourth time in a row in the ongoing limited overs series.
"He's been brilliant around the group. He was up and about around the group, doing everything to help. With the bat, conditions can be brutal when things aren't going your way. He's had a couple of unlucky dismissals."
Finch said the all-rounder is close to breaking his run drought ahead of the Ashes next month.
"We've seen him be so dominant, so destructive of attacks in these conditions before. I don't think he's far away at all. He's hitting the ball in the nets, he's up and about in the field. I think just a few game-plan tinkers here and there would go a long way to taking the pressure off himself.
"He probably feels as though people expect him to strike at 200 like everyone knows that he can and hit six after six. Batting at No. 3 is a different responsibility in this format for him. I know he has opened a couple of times, but been predominately a middle order player," he said.