T20 World Cup Preview: A Look at Australia’s Chances

March 12, 2016 by Posted in Cricket Tips

Australia T20 World Cup PreviewEver since the inception of Twenty20 cricket, the shortest format of the game has captured the imagination of cricket lovers. The biggest draw for spectators is the excitement that comes in the course of just a three-hour contest. The shorter the format, there is also greater the chance for upsets, and who doesn’t love to see an underdog punch above its weight!

All eyes are now set on India as the stage is set for the seventh edition of T20 World Cup which officially starts on March 15th. As is the norm with every ICC Tournament, Australia will start as one of the favorites, eventhough this is the only tournament that has evaded the Australian trophy cabinet.

We look ahead to the chances (and the problems) of the Australian team and if they can spin a new chapter in their T20 history.

New captain – new luck?

Steve Smith has been elevated to the T20 captaincy, almost at the eleventh hour. Aaron Finch ran short of ideas against India, eventually losing the series 3-0 which led to the sudden call up to regular Test & ODI captain in Smith.

But Smith hasn’t been a regular in the T20 squad over the years and will have a lot to prove. Several questions remain, but a lot of faith has been put in the talents of Smith to lead from the front with his performances.

Can Zampa hold his own?

For many, Nathan Lyon should have been on the plane to India but young leg spinner Adam Zampa isn’t a bad choice. He has already impressed against Proteas and could be vital in India.

Zampa is an interesting pick and will be exciting to watch as a young talent with plenty of enthusiasm and a competitive streak. But, is he the match winner the Aussies are in search of? Undoubtedly, this is a huge tournament for the young leggie to impress on the world stage.

IPL experience

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has opened the world of cricket to young Indians and the world of dust bowl batting to Australians. Playing on spinning tracks was an erstwhile advantage, but no longer carries the same leverage.
Especially for Shane Watson, David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell who have loads of experience in these T20 conditions. This will come in handy and much will depend on how this quartet can transform their knowledge of conditions to their advantage.

What is the best XI?

Don’t blame yourselves if you can’t name the best Australian XI because it’s probably the case that the Australian selectors don’t yet know either. Who amongst Finch, Watson and Usman Khawaja will open? Who amongst the faster bowlers will lead the pack?

And then there is the surprised selection of Peter Nevill who is your old-school wicket keeper. In an era of hard-hitting wicket keepers, Nevill stands out as an exception – something which may bite Australia if runs dry up from the top order.

The odds market has placed Australia as the second favorite behind India for the title at odds of $5.50 at William Hill. A victory seems optimistic, and perhaps odds of $1.80 at William Hill for Australia to make the semis is a smarter bet.

The series win in South Africa notwithstanding, there are glaring questions over the Australian squad. No doubt that with such firepower at his disposal, Smith is hoping to create history but is this squad good enough to go all the way?

We look forward to watching the T20 World Cup from Tuesday and seeing how the Australians fare!

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