After a dream season in the domestic T20 competition, New Zealand’s Finn Allen displayed glimpses of his fearless batting approach in the final T20I against Bangladesh in Auckland, smashing a 29-ball 71 in a 10-overs-per-side contest due to rain. The 21-year-old opener got out for a golden duck in his maiden international appearance, only to storm back in style with a “Player of the Match’ performance on his home ground.
“With all the games I play, I want to have the same brand. I want to approach it in the same aggressive way,” Allen said after New Zealand’s whitewash of Bangladesh on Thursday (April 1). “But I think this series has made me realise I need to have more options. Get in similar positions and look to be dominant, but have more than one option for a particular delivery,” he added.
Allen, who plays for Wellington in the Super Smash T20 competition, notched up 512 runs in 11 games striking nearly at 200 whilst exhibiting a fierce approach with the bat, most prominently in the powerplay overs. He was rightfully rewarded with a place in the national team for the just-concluded Bangladesh series at home.
Speaking about the dressing room experience and its impact, Allen noted: “I definitely didn’t think it would be so easy to integrate into an international side. I think it just shows how good the group is. The coaching staff made it easy for me to fit in and feel comfortable. It helped my confidence to go out there and play the way I did. It is a similar way Wellington brought me in here”
Despite a first-ball duck in his maiden game, Allen showed little concern to change his batting approach in the next encounter, which is – to stay fearless and back your strengths. Allen reverse-swept Nasum Ahmed for a boundary to claim his first runs in international cricket in the second T20I at Napier.
“I thought that it is a shot I play a lot so why not pull it out [against Nasum Ahmed],” Allen said decoding his thinking behind that approach. “It doesn’t matter the situation. I could have easily thought I haven’t scored a run yet, just get one under the belt. But I felt like it was the best option for me. Talking to Guptill at the other end, he said back yourself and back your skills. I went for it.
“It was just about being fearless, continuing to be like that from the Super Smash. The fear of not getting out and wanting to take it to the opposition. I felt like it was a shot that I worked on a lot against left-arm spin this summer.”
Allen smacked the Bangladesh bowlers to all corners during his 29-ball 71 in the last game and had also played some outrageous shots while at it. “From the beginning, I felt I was in the zone. I was focused on my partner and the bowler. I didn’t hear anything else. (In the end), I had a moment to appreciate the guys who hung around in the rain to watch us. It was pretty cool,” he concluded.
Allen has been picked up as a replacement for Josh Philippe by the RCB franchise after the latter made himself unavailable for the entire 2021 IPL season.