Did you know that when David Warner wasn’t scoring runs, he didn’t want it? He intentionally set out to not want it so he didn’t score runs. But now since he made runs against the West Indies, he wants it again?? I had to laugh when reading some of the commentators comments, who have played the game at the highest level constantly have suggested that the Australian team haven’t looked like they wanted to be out there, but miraculously now, since they are in the semi finals, they now want it….. I mean come on guys….
Let’s recap Australia’s path to the Semi Finals. They were in the so called group of death with South Africa, England, Bangladesh, West Indies and Sri Lanka. They were given slim to none chance of making it through and their form leading up to the tournament was scratchy at best. A lot of their experienced T20 players were missing and almost every ex player, commentator and journalist had written them off. It’s almost as if the public were waiting and wanting them to fail so they could dig that knife in a little further then they already had.
Game 1 vs South Africa. First game of a big tournament is always a nervy challenge. Both teams trying to get going and both teams knowing that a loss, would almost spell the end of their campaign. Incredibly tough but an opportunity to stamp some authority on the tournament. For anyone that watched the game, both sets of quicks were outstanding and Australia were able to get home by a slim margin thanks to Marcus and Matty Wade at the end. You could see from that victory how much it meant to the team. After the result question marks were still raised over Australia and how poorly they played. Australia still won mind you.
Game 2 vs Sri Lanka. Australian overcome a difficult Sri Lanka side thanks to some outstanding Adam Zampa bowling and David Warner. This is when Davey decided he wanted it again…. Haha. Even though Australia won, the negatives have been focused on by a lot of pundits. ‘Starc isn’t as damaging anymore’, ‘Problems with Steve Smith at 3’, the list goes on. These guys are some of the world’s best. In my eyes, there are 11 match winners in that side and anyone can get the job done for Australia in any given time
Game 3 vs England. England outplayed Australia. Australia tried to pick a side based on matchups and it left them a batter short and after Englands fantastic opening spell, Australia couldn’t regather. Australia were whacked in this game. England put their stamp on the World Cup. To take anything out of the game for Australia would have been tough. T20 cricket can be over so quickly, and for Australia it was. It can happen and Australia were now on the cusp of crashing out of another T20 World Cup and every ex player who is now a commentator was absolutely lashing every player. It was becoming a joke to be honest. They played poorly. Yes. But their skills haven’t gone. They still have 11 match winners. Why not focus on that….
Game 4 vs Bangladesh. Australia thumped Bangladesh and in turn helped their net run rate and moved them up to 2nd place. This is when Australia really wanted it. Commentators were saying they were in beast mode or their aggression was more on show, yada, yada, yada. Truth is, Bangladesh were found wanting against a world class team and attack. They weren’t on the wickets they played on recently. They were on a fast bouncy track that they couldn’t handle. Once again Zampa was outstanding and is putting his hand up as the worlds best T20 spinner right now. The run chase was over before it began and Australia had one foot in the door to the semis. Just 1 game ago all of Australia had written them off….
Game 5 vs West Indies. This had the potential to be a very dangerous game. The West Indies have some unbelievable match winners in their side and if they had something more to play for than pride, who knows what might have been. The bowlers again did the job with our batters getting the job done with a lot of professionalism. All they had to do now was wait and watch the next game between South Africa and England. South Africa won but by not enough to knock Australia out. A fantastic effort from a team that was sledged an incredibly amount before they had even bowled a ball.
Australia now have one game between them and a grand final. They are playing against the only undefeated team in the competition, Pakistan. Pakistan have really been the standout team and look to have all bases covered to be honest. In my opinion the game will be won and lost with respective bowling attacks. Afridi and Rauf have been outstanding. If they can put Australia under pressure early, then it will be up to the likes of Smith and Maxwell to rebuild and give them a platform to launch at the end. Big games it’s all about being able to calm the nerves and trust in your game under pressure. I am tipping Australia to win this match. I’m expecting a tight one and I think Mitch Marsh will be the man to watch.. Good luck men!!