WT20's eternal bridesmaids

WT20's eternal bridesmaids

WT20's eternal bridesmaids

For all their enviable achievements in Test and ODI formats, Australia’s performances in T20Is, and especially in the format’s showpiece event -- the World Twenty20, have been pretty ordinary for a side of that quality.

While there is no dearth of talent, the only obvious reason for their poor show can be attributed to their indifferent attitude towards the the sprint version of the game. Just have a look at Australia’s preparation for the biennial event in India. They played just one T20 International in the whole of 2015 while they had six matches (three each against India and South Africa) in conditions that have little resemblence to the ones in India.

They were hammered 3-0 by India in their own den while in South Africa they found the going tough.

There is also a sense of lack of seriousness within the Cricket Australia set up about the format. Though the Big Bash League is growing bigger and bigger with each edition, the Australian team doesn’t appear to be serious about T20 despite their claims to the contrary.

They appointed Aaron Finch as their T20I skipper for the series against India but was removed after a 0-3 whitewash. They have included three news faces that are likely to make their debut in the mega event! Though one can underestimate any Australian side at their own peril, their whole approach appears to be mired in confusion.  

While Australia came close to winning the title in 2010 before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of old foes England, their shows on either side of the third edition haven’t been inspiring, barring a semifinal appearance in the inaugural meet in South Africa.

With the likes of David Warner and Finch at the top of the order and an explosive middle order in Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson, Australia start as serious contenders but no one will be surprised if their challenge fizzles out early. In the absence of Mitchell Starc, the bowling too looks a bit iffy in the Indian conditions.

The fact that they have been clubbed with India and Pakistan in Group 2, makes their task even more challenging.    

Best show: Runners-up (2010).
Overall performance: P: 23; W: 14; L: 9.
Form guide (most recent last): L, L, L, L, W.
ICC ranking: 6
Fixtures: Mar 18: vs NZ; Mar 21: vs Qualifier; Mar 25: vs Pakistan; Mar 27: vs India.
Squad: Steven Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Andrew Tye, Shane Watson, Adam Zampa.

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