Cricket: Blackcaps faced with reining in ultra-aggressive Finn Allen as white-ball opener

The Blackcaps are faced with the difficult task of trying to rein in the ultra-aggressive instincts of young gun Finn Allen at the top of the batting order.

After an impressive start to his young international career, Allen has been backed as the Blackcaps' opening batter, as they build towards next year's World Cup in India - at the expense of all-time great Martin Guptill.

Since the promotion, Allen has struggled to return the faith shown in him, passing 50 only once in 12 Twenty20 innings since the start of the New Zealand season.

Finn Allen against Australia.
Finn Allen against Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

In ODI cricket, Allen has scored 22 from 25 balls in his only knock of the summer - so far - in New Zealand's series-opening victory over India at Eden Park on Friday.

Arguably Allen's best performance as a Blackcap - and a glimpse of his potential - saw him score 42 off just 16 balls against Australia to begin their Twenty20 World Cup campaign.

Arguably his biggest strength, Allen's aggression has also been his downfall, as he has exited inside the powerplay 11 out of 12 times, since taking over from Guptill.

Allen's contributions come as he still learns his trade at the highest level. With more and more international experience, batting coach Luke Ronchi is certain he will pay back the trust placed on his shoulders. 

"Finn had a good innings there," said Ronchi. "We're sort of trying to [get him] to calm himself down.

Finn Allen.
Finn Allen. Photo credit: Photosport

"International cricket's a bit different for someone who hasn't played that much, and knowing you don't have to hit every ball for four or six. 

"It's [about] understanding that these Indian bowlers with new balls swing it round, they're highly skilled at what they do.

"Give yourself a bit of time, get in and watch what's there. Understand the situation of the game.

"Guys who've played a lot do it well - for Finn, he's only new. For him to realise that and understand it a bit more is a good thing for him.

"It's [about] going about training and how you prepare for a game… making sure you do that well. Trust that, take it into a game and hopefully, from there, you get [the] results you're after."

Ronchi also insists Allen's technique is no issue, with his struggles due to his mental approach.

As part of his role as batting coach, Ronchi must help give Allen the confidence and tools to succeed, with the potential to be one of the most destructive players in the world.

"A lot of the time, everyone looks at technique," Ronchi continued. "In reality, for cricketers, it's more [about] your mind, and how you can control your mind for good and bad times.

"It's not just for new players - older players who've been around for a long time have the same issues.

"There's so many more conversations had these days around that sort of stuff. It can clear the mind of a player and give them the freedom to say, 'Everyone's doing this, everyone goes through it'.

"Go about your business, trust the skillset you have, and go into the game a bit more clearer and carefree."

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