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ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021: A Tough Battle in Hand for Australia

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021: A Tough Battle in Hand for Australia
Image Source: Cricket Australia (@cricketcomau)

During the late 90s and early 2000s, Australia used to participate in every tournament as favourites and used to win most of those. Their record of winning three consecutive World Cups will be a difficult feat to replicate for any team. However, with the retirements of some of their greatest players, the aura is gone. Australia are still a good side but based on the recent form and due to the conditions, they are one of the less-fancied teams in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Australia’s biggest problem lies at the top of the order. Their captain Aaron Finch and David Warner are two of the biggest names in the T20 format but coming off mediocre form. Before the practice matches, Finch last played in July as he was not part of the IPL. Warner was part of the IPL but mostly was not selected in the second half due to his poor run of form. Even for Australia, his performance in the practice games was poor and if he does not fire in the first couple of matches, they also may drop him and let Steve Smith or Marcus Stoinis open.

Glenn Maxwell will be a key player for them. Unlike Warner, Maxwell had a great IPL where he was a constant threat for all the teams in the middle-order and helped Royal Challengers Bangalore to reach the Playoffs. Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis are the three key all-rounders for them and how they perform will depend on this trio’s performance.

Australia have three spinners in the squad and will go with at least two as per the understanding based on the practice match. This puts Aston Agar and Adam Zampa in the eleven to utilize the spin-friendly conditions in the UAE. This also means that along with Mitchell Starc only one of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Kane Richardson can start for them.

Australia are coming off four consecutive T20 series loss including a loss against Bangladesh. They have won one and lost one of their practice matches and are part of the tougher group now since both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have joined their group. With England, West Indies, and South Africa being the other teams in the group, it is very likely that Australia may get eliminated at the group stage. It will be interesting to see how they can overcome the challenge and whether they can bring back their glory days.

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Written by Shreyasi Talukdar

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