The Financial Express

Australia’s mission to secure T20 glory

Photo: Cricket Australia Photo: Cricket Australia

Australia can be considered as the most successful team in the history of cricket in both the shorter and longer versions. 

However, the shortest format of them i.e. T20 cricket hasn’t been pleasant for the Aussies. They are yet to win a title in this format. They only managed to reach the finals of the T20 World Cup once-- in the 2010 edition and were beaten by their rival England in the finals. 

Australia have the worst statistics in World T20s among the big teams with only 16 wins from the 29 games they have played. As a team, their performance may not be satisfactory, however, Aussie players are successful individually, especially in the franchise leagues.

Like the previous 6 tournaments, the Aussie lineup comprises some extraordinary cricketers. Aaron Finch, one of the most successful batsmen in this format-- has an average of 150.24, is leading the side. 

His opening partner David Warner has 2265 runs to his name with a strike rate of 139.72. This pair has scored 1022 runs together in the opening stand. They will be crucial for Australia’s success. 

Steven Smith, who is not a big hitter of the ball, can keep the wagon wheel moving with 1s or 2s. This top order has the ability to score 100+ runs in the first 10 overs which can effectively snatch the game away from the opponent.

Next comes Glenn Maxwell who has 3 centuries with an astonishing strike rate of 158.93 in this format. He can play unorthodox shots which enables him to produce a flurry of boundaries. 

Mitchel Marsh and Marcus Stoinis - both are handy all-rounders who are efficient in both batting and bowling. This middle order has the skill to destroy the opponent’s death bowling efforts. 

Mathew Wade is good with the gloves but lacks batting potential. Yet, he can play a cameo role batting at 7 or 8. His substitute Josh Inglis has a tremendous strike rate of 151. 61 in the domestic T20 leagues. 

On the other hand, the fast bowling conditions of the UAE will help the Aussie pace bowlers. Mitchel Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood- the trio has been in phenomenal form across formats. 

Starc and Cummins both are economical. They have the pace, bounce, swing and accuracy to create havoc through the opponent batting lineup. 

Australia’s spin department too looks good with two leg spinners. Adam Zampa is frugal with an economy of 7.33 which can help the Aussies to reduce the run rate of the opponent in the middle overs. Swepson is a decent backup for him. 

In overall T20Is, Australia have managed to win only 73 games in 146 matches they have played. Although the playing conditions were alien, Australia coming to the World Cup with two consecutive series defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh will surely hurt their confidence. 

Even with all the odds, the whole Aussie lineup looks balanced with experience and dynamism. If they can play as a unit, they can surely bring an end to their trophy drought in this format of the game.

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