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Rejuvenated Australia begin preparations for 2020 World T20

Ram Kumar
5.58K   //    04 Feb 2018, 20:49 IST

Legendary batsman Ricky Ponting is currently serving as assistant coach of Australia's T20I team

What's the story?

With more than two years to go before the next edition of the World T20 gets underway, Australia have already begun preparations in order to break their drought in the competition. Swashbuckling batsman Chris Lynn has revealed that the players have started discussing strategies for the tournament which will take place on home soil.

Lynn affirmed, "This team that we've got now - bar a couple that are resting - can really build something special moving towards these World Cups. We're hungry to turn around our form in T20. It hasn't been great in the last couple of years. So we're really keen and really hungry to get back to our winning ways in this format."

"Realistically, we are talking about it because you don't just win a World Cup a month before. Preparation starts now and we want to build a nucleus of a side now. I've always been in and out of the side and generally most of the guys can say that bar a couple. So if we can familiarise with everyone, we just go from strength to strength. That way we don't have to have longer team meetings, we know what everyone is doing as a unit."

The background

Having won an unparalleled five World Cup titles and two Champions Trophy titles, the World T20 is the only tournament that the Australian men's team have not been able to triumph in. While the women's team has clinched the title on three occasions, the trophy continues to elude the men's side.

The heart of the matter

From six editions of the tournament, a runner-up position has been Australia's best finish in the World T20. In fact, they failed to progress to the semi-finals on three occasions. The next edition of the tournament is scheduled to take place for the first time on Australian soil between 18 October and 15 November in 2020.

Australia are currently placed at number six in ICC's T20I rankings. In a bid to revive the team's flagging fortunes in the shortest format of the game, the management have infused quite a few fresh faces for the ongoing Trans-Tasman tri-series.

With Steven Smith rested for the assignment, David Warner has taken up leadership duties. The new look Australian outfit, containing two debutants and a host of inexperienced names, showcased their potential by hammering New Zealand in the opening game at Sydney.

As evidenced by the rapid rise of promising players such as D'Arcy Short, Alex Carey and Billy Stanlake, the think tank are starting to draft in talented cricketers suited for the vagaries of the shortest format.

What's next?

Australia's next T20I will be against an in-form England side at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Wednesday.

Author's take

During the first few editions of the World T20, the general perception was that Australia did not take the shortest format too seriously. However, the trend seems to be changing as the team management are rewarding Big Bash League performers and charting a vision for the national T20I team.

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Ram Kumar
Someone who views sport as a metaphor for life.
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