WTC Final: `Smith-Head 285-run partnership made the difference,` says Finch

Former Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch believes the 285-run first innings partnership between Steve Smith and Travis Head made a decisive difference in the World Test Championship final against India at The Oval.

India lost for the second consecutive time in the WTC final as Australia clinched the mace with a massive 209-run win on Sunday.

India had lost the inaugural edition of WTC final to New Zealand in 2021.

“What an achievement to be crowned World Test Champions. I think Travis Head and Steve Smith`s partnership was the difference in the game, but that`s just something Steve Smith does,” Finch told `SEN Radio`.

“When he (Smith) turns up to England he seems to walk out and get 100s at will. It was a brilliant performance and I`m very happy for the team,” he added.

Following the bitter loss, India captain Rohit Sharma has called for a three-Test WTC final, while also questioning the lack of preparation time for the marquee clash as it was scheduled just after the IPL. But Finch begs to differ.

“I think it`s just the reality of the scheduling and the time constraints on fixtures at the moment,” he said.

“I`ve got no issues with it, I think if it`s drawn out over three Tests, what happens if a team gets annihilated? It becomes a bit of a waste of time.

“We all play sport for the wins and the losses. I don`t have any issue with it at all.”

Finch believes with his impressive display in the WTC final, right-arm pacer Scott Boland has secured his place in the playing XI of the first Ashes Test to be played at Edgbaston, starting June 16.

Boland, who replaced the injured Josh Hazlewood in the playing XI, returned with match figures of 5 for 105, which included the crucial wickets of Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in India`s second innings.

He dismissed Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over, causing trouble for India.

“He (Boland) was outstanding, I think he`s well and truly sewn up that third quick spot in the first Test,” Finch said.

“I`m not sure of Josh Hazlewood`s injury return I guess, he`s had a couple of niggles that keep hanging around for him, so Scott Boland will definitely (play at Edgbaston).”

(With PTI inputs)

Also Read: WTC Final: `I really enjoy batting with Steve Smith,` says Travis Head

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