Why this Australian T20I side can dominate the world
We have all witnessed Australia dominate world cricket in the Test match and ODI format for a long time. Today, they are perhaps not the best or as dominant as they used to be as teams like India and South Africa are playing better cricket than Australia overall.
But ever since the T20 format started in 2007, Australia have been far from dominant in this format. Two time semi-finalists in ICC World T20’s, no trophies as yet and to make it worse they were number 7 in the ICC T20 rankings just few weeks ago.
Unlike other teams across the world, they didn’t take this version of the game as seriously as they should have. Constant change in captains, too much fluctuation in their team and strategy meant Australia never were as strong as they could be.
But having looked at the way they outclassed oppositions like New Zealand and England recently, it looks Australia- the T20 team has arrived with a bang.
The focus is clearly been on developing a team for this format, strategize accordingly and so far the results have been so good that if they continue in this way, there’s no reason why the #3 ranked team in the world can’t become #1 and dominate the world in this format.
Here’s looking at why this Australian T20 side can dominate the world:
An attacking captain who leads from the front:
Australia have never had a settled captain in the T20I format. They have made many captains such as Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, George Bailey, Steven Smith and David Warner in the past decade or so.
Among all the names mentioned, David Warner’s record as Australia’s T20I captain is the best. He is in early stages of his captaincy career for Australia, but one thing is for sure-he should continue as captain leading up to the ICC World T20 to be played in Australia in the year 2020.
David Warner’s attacking, aggressive batting style rubs off on his captaincy. A classic example of that would be how, along with Tom Moody, he was able to galvanise the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and take them to glory.
The same pattern is visible with Warner and Lehmann’s combination. The attacking style of play is ensuring Australia are putting their best foot forward and all players are expressing themselves really well.
With the big guns out of this team due to injury and increased workload, it won’t be a bad idea for Australia to officially make David Warner as the captain of the T20I side going forward. Steven Smith can be included as a batsman in the side, that would be unburden him and allow him to bat freely in a format where he hasn’t shined for his country as yet.
The way David Warner has led this young team has made the world take notice of the Australian T20I team. And with the likes of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh, Pat Cummins and Steve Smith expected to feature in this side in more important games in future, this team has the potential to be world-beaters and could go on to dominate this format of the game.
Focus on picking T20 specialists- the key to success
Australia have over the years picked experienced, good performing ODI players to be a part of the T20I team. That ploy has worked to an extent, but again, playing and succeeding in T20I’s isn’t as easy as there has to a clear, planned approach to succeed.
Australia have realised that employing T20 specialists will help them perform better. Taking a cue from other teams around the world, they have also decided to pick their strongest T20 team filled with players who have succeeded in the format and have the right attitude and approach.
Fresh from the Big Bash League (BBL), Australia have decided to recgonise the performers in that tournament like D’Arcy Short, Alex Carey, Billy Stanlake, Glen Maxwell and Andrew Tye and have included them in their current team and the results are for all to see. The general confidence level and attitude of the players is refreshing to see. They look a settled unit.
These couple of wins doesn’t mean they will win always in future but just the overall energy levels and the confidence of having a settled unit with people who have tasted success and know what it takes to perform in the T20 format makes a huge difference.
With the experienced, regulars like Starc, Cummins, Marsh, Smith expected to also play a role in the T20I format, Australia seem to have found a good core of players to choose from who can succeed in different conditions and situations.
This team has all the bases covered
Every T20I team needs to have a strong, attacking top-order who can exploit the power-play overs, good finishers and most importantly bowlers who have a good mix of pace, quality and variation to be able to pick up constant wickets.
This current Australian team has all the bases covered. In David Warner, D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn and Glen Maxwell they have among the best top-order batting line ups in the world now. The presence of Travis Head and Steve Smith in the future would make the batting even more lethal.
As far the lower order goes they have identified talented wicket keeper/batsman Alex Carey and Travis Head as finishers. Mitchell Marsh when fully fit is a very good candidate to be the finisher in this T20I setup. Glen Maxwell although extremely lethal at the top, can be pushed down the order if required.
Most importantly, in Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa, they have two talented, steady spinners who can control the run flow and take wickets as well. Agar is very handy with the bat too, adding to Australia’s batting.
And with Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye and Kane Richardson, the bowling attack has pace, variation and skill to deceive batsmen in the T20I’s. Especially building up to the ICC World T20 in 2020 to be played in Australia, this bowling attack looks threatening and match-winning.
On a whole, this team looks really settled, has all bases covered and there is a clear, thought out strategy by appointing David Warner as captain and Ricky Ponting as assistant coach, who could take over from Darren Lehmann as full time T20I coach soon.
Australia have joined the T20I specialists bandwagon a little late but now that they have, continuity and persistence with the core team must last. That is the key to building confidence and ensuring that the team’s morale remains positive always.
Too much chopping-changing and ambiguity about who will lead them( as of now, David Warner is still stand-in skipper) is going to push the team down,. If the selectors and team management watch out for that and take required actions then there’s nothing that can stop this Australian T20I side from dominating the world.