WI vs AUS 2021: SWOT analysis of Australia's T20I squad

Aaron Finch will lead Australia in the T20I series against West Indies
Aaron Finch will lead Australia in the T20I series against West Indies
Meit Sampat

After an intense T20I series against South Africa, West Indies will now battle it out against Australia in another five-match T20I series starting from 10th July. All five games will be played at Darren Sammy National Stadium in St Lucia.

Australia and West Indies have faced each other 11 times in T20Is, with the Windies winning six times to the Aussies' five. The last time the two teams faced each other in the shortest format was way back in 2014!

A revamped Australian squad, led by Aaron Finch, has been named for the T20I series against West Indies.

The Australian squad for the said series is as follows:

Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

In this article, we attempt to delve into the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian T20I squad for their five-match series against West Indies.

#1 Strength - Presence of a strong bowling attack

Adam Zampa will be a key bowler for Australia in T20Is
Adam Zampa will be a key bowler for Australia in T20Is

Despite the non-availability of Pat Cummins, Australia have a strong and well-balanced bowling attack, with variety in pace as well as in the spin department, for the upcoming T20I series.

Mitchell Starc will spearhead the bowling attack in the absence of Cummins. The left-arm pacer has an impressive record in T20Is, having picked up 47 wickets in 35 games at an average of 19.36 and an economy rate of 6.95. Starc is a potent weapon for the Australian team in the powerplay as well as in the death overs.

Josh Hazlewood, meanwhile, has only played nine T20Is for Australia and is yet to create a mark on the international scene in the shortest format. However, the absence of Cummins could provide the perfect opportunity for Hazlewood to replicate his impressive Test performances in T20 cricket.

Andre Tye has done a decent job for Australia in T20Is, picking up 39 wickets in 28 games at an average of 22.90. Tye is an accurate bowler with vast experience who has played in various T20 leagues across the world. He's reliable, especially in death overs, which is considered an asset in T20 cricket.

Jason Behrendoff, on the other hand, has been impressive in the limited opportunities he has played for Australia. In seven T20Is, he has bagged seven wickets at an average of 16.71 and is impressive with the new ball.

Meanwhile, Riley Meredith has played three T20Is for Australia and has picked up four wickets at an average of 20.75.

Apart from the above-mentioned fast bowlers, Australia have medium-pacer all-rounders Dan Christian, Moises Henriques and Mitchell Marsh, who are all dependable. In T20Is, Henriques averages 27.14 with the ball, Christian 28.82, and Mitchell Marsh 22.71.

Australia have a variety in the spin bowling department too. Adam Zampa will be the lead spinner in the upcoming series. The leg-spinner has a decent record in T20Is, picking up 43 wickets in 41 games at an average of 22.67. He controls the flow of runs in the middle overs and has a decent economy rate of 6.92 in T20Is. West Indies batsmen struggled against the likes of South African spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde in the recently concluded T20I series, and Zampa will look to capitalize on the weaknesses of the Windies batters.

Ashton Agar also has an impressive record for Australia in T20Is. He has 38 T20Is wickets to his credit at an average of 19.55 and an economy rate of 6.88. He can bowl in powerplay overs and is a wily customer with ball in hand.

The squad have a strong bowling attack comprising players who have considerable experience of playing T20Is as well as T20 cricket in various leagues around the world.

#2 Weakness - Limited options in the batting department

Glenn Maxwell is an exceptional T20 player
Glenn Maxwell is an exceptional T20 player

Australia will miss the services of a few recognized batsmen in the upcoming series. Steve Smith has already been ruled out due to an injury.

The likes of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are also not available for the series. The absence of the said players is likely to have an impact on the Australian team.

David Warner is one of the best openers in T20 cricket and has won matches single-handedly for Australia in the past. In 81 T20Is, he averages 31.46 and has a strike rate of 139.73. He has a century and 18 half-centuries to his name in T20Is. His absence will indeed be a big blow for Australia.

Glenn Maxwell is another impact player for Australia who will be missing out on the T20I series. He has three T20Is centuries to his credit and has an impressive strike rate of 158.93 in 85 innings. He is a real threat to opposing bowlers, especially in death overs, and can change the course of a T20 game in no time.

Steve Smith also boasts an impressive T20I record and has a decent strike rate of 129.53 in 37 international games in the shortest format. He can hold one end together in a T20 game and his absence will be felt in the middle order.

Stoinis has been one of the few players who has tasted success for Australia at the top of the order in the recent past and has an impressive strike rate of 133.81 in 23 T20I innings.

The aforementioned players have been match-winners for Australia in the T20Is and their absence could be a key factor in determining the outcome of the upcoming series against West Indies.

#3 Opportunities - Younger and fringe players can establish a place in the team

Ashton Turner
Ashton Turner

The absence of key batsmen will provide the perfect opportunity for fringe players and youngsters to establish their place in the team.

Ashton Turner is expected to play a key role for Australia in the middle order. He has represented his nation in 11 T20Is, but is yet to make an impact. He averages a modest 14.25 in seven T20I innings. Turner is known to be a clean striker of the ball and helped Australia chase down a mammoth total of 359 against India in an ODI, scoring an impressive century in the game. He will look to score big in the upcoming T20I series and establish a place in the Australian T20 set-up.

Matthew Wade played his first T20I in 2011 and after almost 10 years, he is yet to become a permanent member of the Australian team in the shortest format. He has been in and out of the team and has only played 38 T20I matches, scoring at an average of 21.92. The absence of key players may provide an opportunity for Wade to establish his place in the Australian T20I team.

Josh Philippe may open the batting with his skipper Aaron Finch in the T20I series. Philippe is an aggressive batsman and is known to play an attacking brand of cricket from the word go. He has played five T20Is for Australia so far, but is yet to make an impact.

Alex Carey is another member of the squad who is yet to establish his place in Australia's T20I team. Carey, the first-choice Australian wicket-keeper in the ODI format, has struggled in T20Is, averaging just 12.57 with the bat in 18 innings. He will compete with Wade and Philippe for the wicket-keeping spot in the Australian T20I team.

#4 Threat - Australia will be up against a strong West Indies team

Dwayne Bravo has an impressive series against South Africa
Dwayne Bravo has an impressive series against South Africa

Although West Indies lost the recently concluded five-match T20I series against South Africa by a 3-2 margin, there were certain positives for them.

To begin with, Evin Lewis was in exceptional touch. He had an impressive strike-rate of 160.36 in five innings and scored 178 runs in the series. His opening partner, Lendl Simmons, also impressed in a couple of games against South Africa.

The likes of Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell and Nicholas Pooran did not have the best of outings against the Proteas. But the said players have considerable experience and can be match-winners on their day.

Dwayne Bravo had an exceptional series against South Africa. He picked up 10 wickets at an impressive average of 13.10 and bowled at an exceptional economy rate of 6.89. It will be a challenge for Australia's inexperienced batting line-up to score quick runs against Bravo, especially in death overs.

Obed McCoy also had an impressive series with the ball against South Africa. He provided crucial breakthroughs for the Windies, bagging nine wickets at an average of 15.67.

All in all, West Indies will start as the favorites in the five-match T20I series. However, the Australians are more than capable of flipping the script and springing a surprise or two.

Edited by Samya Majumdar


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