Birmingham: Australia lost their World Cup semifinal against England in the first 10 overs of the game, according to captain Aaron Finch.Australia were reduced to 14 for 3 in 6.1 overs, with Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer combining to remove Finch, David Warner and Peter Handscomb cheaply. Steve Smith fought with a valiant 85, stitching partnerships with Alex Carey and later Mitchell Starc, but Australia managed only 223. England blasted the target in just 32.1 overs.
"Definitely in the first ten overs of the game," Finch said when asked where the game was lost. "We know they were going to come really aggressive at us with the bat, so we had to be aggressive with the ball, we had to take or create ten chances and take them as well. So it wasnt going to be a game, especially against England, that peters out into the 47th, 48th over. It was going to be ultra-aggressive and they got on top of us early with the bat.
"But the damage was really done with the ball. That sets you back. That forced us to rebuild for such a long time and start to drag some momentum back and then you lose a couple of quick wickets again, new batters starting, it is always tough against really good leg-spin and good quicks as well. So, all in all, we were totally outplayed to be honest all throughout the day."
Finch rued the timing of Usman Khawajas injury and Glenn Maxwell not converting starts to bigger performances. He said the team came into the semifinal with confidence despite a couple of injuries but was disappointed to put up their worst performance of the tournament.
"Very disappointed. We came here today expecting to win," he said. "We felt like our preparation leading into the tournament and then the momentum wed built-up through the tournament was really important and we came here feeling good, we trained well, we had enough break in between games and guys were fresh enough.
"So its really disappointing how it ended, especially to put up probably one of our worst performances overall for the tournament."
Finch, though, stressed Australia had made plenty of progress in the last one year. For the most part of the last two years, Australia were struggling in white-ball cricket but hit form right before the World Cup. They gained momentum in the tournament too, making it to the semifinal as the second team in the table.
"In terms of where we were 12 months ago, obviously I think we have made a huge amount of progress," he said. "Really proud of everyone involved for how much hard work and how far we have come, but at the same time we came here today to win a semifinal and get ourselves into a position to win another World Cup.
"But really proud of where we have come from and the gains that a lot of players have made over the last 12 months in particular."
Finch said Australia would be looking to the future with an eye on building a plan for the next World Cup.
"I think that after a World Cup you always have one eye towards the next one," he explained. "Im sure over the next couple of months or so we will sit down and start talking about that and start planning on how we think that we can best plan and prepare and improve over the next four years to get us to go, well two steps further.
"I think that every team will do that. You start looking at what you can improve most, areas that you can identify that you need some work to be done and that will happen no doubt.
"But as a coaching staff, as a management, that will be really important as well that everyone gets on the same page and everyone pulls in the same direction which is what we have done. We have been really lucky. Everyone has bought into the way we have played and it is unfortunate we have come up short."