Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra reckons that hosts Australia have a strong chance of defending their T20 World Cup title. No home team has ever won the 20-over World Cup to date. However, according to Chopra, that could change if the Aussies perform to their potential and a few other things fall into place.
Aaron Finch-led Australia were not among the top contenders to win the crown in the UAE last year, as conditions were not expected to suit them. However, they defied the odds and got their hands on the trophy for the first time.
Sharing his thoughts on Australia’s chances in the current edition, Chopra opined that they are looking like an extremely dangerous side.
In a Twitter post, he wrote:
“I know that no home team has ever won the #T20WorldCup and no team has been able to defend their crown either…but look at this #Australia team. Batting powerhouse. Bowling has options. Finch back in form. Maxwell will find form. What box are they not ticking?”
Aussie skipper Finch, who has been struggling for runs for a while, top-scored for his team with a 76 off 54 in the warm-up match against India in Brisbane on Monday, October 17. He was also adjudged the Player of the Match for his 58 in the first T20I against West Indies in Carrara earlier this month.
“Can't win the World Cup in a practice game” - Australian captain Aaron Finch reflects on defeat against India
Despite Finch’s brilliant knock, the Aussies went down by six runs in their warm-up game against India on Monday.
Chasing 187, the hosts were well-placed at 171/4 after 18 overs. However, Mohammed Shami bowled a terrific last over, claiming three wickets, as the defending champions were bowled out for 180.
Reflecting on the close defeat, Finch said:
"Happy (with his innings). Nice to get a few out of the middle. Would've been nice to get us over the line. Can't win the World Cup in a practice game (laughs).”
He admitted that the Aussies must learn to end games in clinical fashion. Finch added:
"We learned that we need to be clinical towards the back-end, we didn't capitalize towards the end. We did drag them back after that blistering start from KL."
On Kane Richardson, who claimed four wickets, the 35-year-old said:
“He's fantastic. Every opportunity he gets for Australia, he's there performing, that shows the depth of our pace bowling unit.”
The Aussies will begin their T20 World Cup Super 12 campaign by taking on Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in Sydney on October 22.