The World T20 was inaugurated in 2007, in South Africa, and since then 4 editions have been held but neither of those have the name “Australia” in the “champions’” category. That’s a bit harsh for the Australian cricket fans. The kangaroos have 4 World Cups in their pocket and have twice won the Champions Trophy. But the T20 World Cup trophy remains the only one that the Australian players haven’t yet tasted. In the upcoming World T20 in Bangladesh, Australia will definitely look to create history and thus prove to the world that they are the best in the shortest format.
Out of the 4 editions held so far, 2 times they reached the semis and once in the final. They faltered at crucial moments which led to their elimination. The 2008 World T20 was the worst one for the Baggy Greens as they were shown the door in the 1st round itself. They lacked the team of youngsters, which India had in 2007, and failed in the department of hitting attacking shots.
They had the hard hitting players in the form of Gilchrist, Symonds and Hayden but luck didn’t favor them. They failed to take some crucial moments which led to their downfall.
Recently, the Australian team has got a whole new bunch of youngsters and will be willing to go for the kill in the upcoming World Cup. I feel that this is their brightest chance to be crowned champions. The George Bailey-led Aussie side has done well in this format in recent times. They are beaming with confidence after cleaning up England 3-0 in the previous series.
Aaron Finch and David Warner hold the key at the top order. The former scored 156 against England, a year back, and will look to continue his good run in the shortest format. David Warner, on the other hand, is at the top of his game after his fine run in South Africa. He is much like Sehwag – if he gets going, nobody will be able to stop him!
Shane Watson, George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell form the crucial middle order. Watson has been out of form but the selectors have shown trust in him. He has recently said, “we’ve got the most balanced side that I’ve ever been involved with and a balanced squad”.
George Bailey has to lead from the front. He did well the last time he came in the subcontinent but he has to be consistent and continue his good form in the World Cup. His captaincy will also be closely monitored by the selectors and so he has to prove his mettle by leading his team to a historic World Cup victory.
Glenn Maxwell, nicknamed as “Smackswell”, has performed brilliantly in the Big Bash League. He has the capability of changing the complexion of the game in quick time and has many innovative shots which are suited in T20 format. Not only he has the capability of striking the ball hard, but also he can hit boundaries whenever required. He is the player to watch out for the opposition. He is also a brilliant fielder and can save some important runs for the team on regular basis.
Then comes the most valuable player Australia have – James Faulkner. Michael Clarke has called him the “new Michael Bevan”, after his Gabba heroics, and rightly so he is the best finisher in the squad. He has a good temperament can shift gears whenever the situation permits him to. The all rounder has played well recently and Australia will largely depend on him in the World Cup. This is the best chance for Faulkner to increase his importance in the team.
In the bowling department too, Faulkner can bowl some good yorkers and short balls to force a dismissal. But this department will be spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson. Johnson is at the form of his life and can pose problems for the oppositions. Even in the subcontinent he can mesmerize the batsmen with furious pace.
Brad Hogg has been always in the T20 squad and is the most experienced one in the team. He has bowled well consistently. His 4 overs are crucial for both Australia and the opponent team.
World T20 2013/14
So this team is very much a “balanced” one with everybody capable of doing well in his department. This is probably the best chance for the Kangaroos to make history and acclaim their maiden trophy.