Australia has lost 8 out of it’s last 10 T20 international matches. Probably the hardest thing as a supporter is how hard the boys would be trying, but nothing seems to be working right now. Changed orders, changed tactics, changed teams, the list goes on. What did they achieve???
Probably the simple answer is, I don’t know….
The T20 World Cup is just around the corner. 2 months to be exact. It is going to be played in the UAE during October and November. Dew will play a part in the tournament no doubt, but how do Australia turn it around in such a short time and become one of the favourites.
I think firstly we need to look at the positives from the two trips. Mitch Marsh has been a standout and has put his hand up to be a regular in the side now. Our bowling line up has done extremely well in challenging conditions. Mitchell Starc continues to do Mitchell Starc things. Schweppo has definitely put his name forward to be looked at for the starting x1, but where do you fit him in???
The team was without a list of stars but I don’t think anyone would have seen the results coming. One thing which I think the BBL masks is the ability of our best players to play in a position that they might not be suited to or done a lot. Matty Wade is someone who bats all over the place in the Aussie set up, but you might remember when he came on the scene he batted lower for VIC and I believe (my opinion only) his ability to understand what to do batting at 5,6,7 has equipped him with the right tools to do the job if he has to.
The best batters in the world will naturally be able to bat in the top 4 or 5 in the BBL. Wickets are generally really good, ball is hard, boundaries aren’t huge (even if they are it doesn’t matter) and they find a way to score runs. Most of those players in that side all bat in the top 4 or 5 for their BBL franchises. The last batting order for Australia was: Christian (5,6,7) Wade (opens) Marsh (3,4) McDermott (3,4,5) Carey (opens,3,4) Henriques (4,5) Turner (middle order)…. I get Dan Christian having another crack at opening after he single handedly won the previous game but with the T20 World Cup just around the corner, I can’t really see him opening in front of Finch, Warner, Stoinis, Wade…. Why not leave him at 6 and 7 and let him keep learning???
It probably leads us into what is the appropriate order/structure for the side. JL was a big advocate of the 6/5 formula for many years in Perth. They were and still are one of the best franchises in the world. Right now it looks more like a 7/4 set up with left over overs being completed from the all rounders.. So what do I think is the best 11 right now to win the World Cup?? Assuming Finch is fit and Warner is available. I am also going to assume Smith is not available.
I have gone with only one quick but the ability of Stoinis, Christian, Marsh, Agar, Maxwell to bowl up top in the power play provides enough variety to complement Starc. Marsh’s transformation against spin has me convinced he can do a job in the middle order against the spinning ball. Partnered with Wade, they provide a damaging 1,2 combo that no team in the world would want to bowl to. I have left Stoinis at 3 because I feel that he can be a bit dot heavy against the spinning ball, but with the field up he is one of the best in the world. Christian to play that finishing role and then throw in Maxwell at the top of the order, I feel as though all bases are covered.
Yep the tours were disappointing but in every defeat there is an opportunity to improve and advance your skills. Maybe this was an opportunity for the Australian set up to see the conditions and get a better understanding of how to handle them in October.. I know for one thing, I am definitely not writing them off. But for them to be in the final match, they are going to need some luck, some things to go their way and some out of the box thinking to surprise the world!!