Australia relying on experience to win ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Can the Australian squad’s familiarity and experience of soaking up pressure help Marsh’s men win the T20 World Cup?

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Australia's squad for T20 World Cup is packed with experienced players, most of whom have won world titles in the past [File: Adnan Abidi/reuters]

Australia will head into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 with their sights set on writing a fresh chapter in cricket’s history by becoming the only men’s team to hold the ICC Test Championship title, the 50-over World Cup trophy and T20 crown.

And they have plenty of experience in their ranks to reach the summit.

After a failed T20 World Cup campaign at home in 2022, their new Twenty20 (T20) international captain Mitchell Marsh will be eager to make amends in the United States and West Indies.

Marsh’s limited leadership experience [of eight games] in T20Is will not hinder the world champions’ march towards the record books, according to former women’s team captain Lisa Sthalekar.

“He [Marsh] has been around Australian cricket for a long time and has cemented his position,” Sthalekar told Al Jazeera.

“He has led [the Australian domestic T20 team] Perth Scorchers and although the T20 World Cup will be a different experience, I am sure he is ready and raring to go.”

Marsh’s rise to the helm of Australia’s T20 side has coincided with his international resurgence in recent years. The 32-year-old was the player of the final when Australia won their maiden T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2021.

Sthalekar – a former prolific all-rounder with eight Test matches, 125 one-day internationals 54 T20Is to her name – believes her compatriots will go into the tournament with a “good core group” of experienced players and Marsh will use that to his strength.

“They all know each other’s roles and responsibilities,” Sthalekar said.

“They have played so much cricket with each other that I reckon they don’t even need to communicate half the time. They just look at each other and it all seems to click nicely for them.”

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(Al Jazeera)

‘All bases covered’

Australia’s squad is packed with explosive T20 batters, including David Warner, Travis Head, Tim David and Glenn Maxwell.

Richly experienced searing pacers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will have the ability to blow away opposition batsmen and their wily leg-spinner Adam Zampa could get plenty of support on the Caribbean pitches in the latter stages of the tournament.

The notable omission of Steve Smith could leave their batting’s middle order and spin-bowling department understaffed, but Sthalekar thinks it is “indicative of where the T20 format is going and the brand of cricket Australia want to play.”

Sthalekar believes Australia have got all bases covered apart from left-arm wrist spin.

“Zampa’s numbers have been outstanding and while [all-rounder] Maxwell’s batting form has not been the best in the Indian Premier League (IPL), he has been quite effective with the ball.”

Australia last played in the Caribbean three years ago, but it may not end up having any impact on their tournament preparations as they waste no time in acclimatising to local conditions.

It may all come down to their squad’s experience of playing in all parts of the world, which was underscored by their triumph at the World Test Championship final in London in June and the 50-over World Cup final against favourites and hosts India in Ahmedabad in November.

Whatever the conditions may be, Sthalekar expects Australia to adapt quickly.

“We don’t know what the pitches will do until we get there, but those playing in the IPL went around different grounds and had to keep adapting. This generation of cricketers has learned to adapt given the busy schedules.”

And adapt they did.

Australia arrived in the Caribbean in batches, with the IPL-linked players arriving last.

In a display of their strength and experience, the five-time 50-over champions romped to a seven-wicket win over Namibia in their pre-tournament warm-up match with only nine members of the squad taking the field.

Members of their backroom staff and national selector had to make up the numbers when Australia fielded and bundled out Namibia on 119. The 2021 champions then chased the target with 10 overs to spare.

With the women’s 50-over and T20 world titles also in their grasp, Australia will put a seal on their reign over cricket if they go on to lift the men’s T20 World Cup on June 29 in Barbados.

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(Al Jazeera)

Sthalekar’s three Australian players to watch

Adam Zampa: The bespectacled leg spinner could have a key role to play in the middle overs, and Sthalekar believes he will have a “big tournament” where he will “do some wonders”.

David Warner: The fiery opening batter will call time on all international cricket after the tournament and Sthalekar thinks he would like to “go out with a bang”.

The batter sustained an injury in the IPL and missed a handful of matches and while Sthalekar thinks it may be hard to perform straightaway after getting back in the team, Warner cannot be counted out as “he has a way of making people look silly”.

Pat Cummins: Responsible for masterminding Australia’s prolific form over the past year, Cummins is a man who Sthalekar expects to play an important role with both bat and ball.

“Given his form, performance and the fact that he is not captaining, it will be nice for him to get out there and play the game,” she said.

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(Al Jazeera)
Source: Al Jazeera