A year on from a historic T20 title, Australia have some big expectations on their shoulders as the hosts and holders of the T20 World Cup. Before we see whether they can live up to these expectations, we should look at the team and their form heading into this tournament.
How are they coming into the tournament
While Australia have produced countless teams that would be considered the best test teams in the world, they have rarely produced a side that is the best T20 side in the world. But Australian limited overs cricket comes into this tournament off the back of the teams greatest T20 success.
It was a phenomenal achievement for Australia to win their first T20 world title last year and there is a huge amount of positivity heading into this tournament. For one thin they have kept the majority of the same squad that succeeded last year, with only a couple of major changes being made to the team from last year.
Australia will know that they have shown they already have the recipe to win the world cup. This consistency is a big plus for the Australia team and a lot of their players come into the tournament on good form. There is also a lot of pressure on this Australian team.
Being hosts of the tournament as well as reigning champions is something that no side has had to do before. Australia have big expectations not only because of their performance last year, but also because of their home advantage. Australia should be favourites for the tournament as they can use their home pitches.
The Aussie bowlers and batters should understand the bounce and pace the pitches offer better than anyone else. What will slightly worry Australian fans is that despite the consistency, their results have been very mixed since the World Cup win.
Australia have won four out of their six T20 series in between the two world cups, which included dominant series wins against Sri Lanka and the West Indies. But in the last few months they have lost T20 series against England and India, with the two games lost to England being particularly disappointing.
The home nation comes into the tournament with big expectations but the pressure could get to them.
Australia have always been a team that has prioritised test cricket and ODI cricket, two formats where they have been incredibly successful. But it also shows in the fact that they have never had a huge amount of success at T20 world cups.
But they did start the T20 World Cups with some success. A loss in the second game to Pakistan was quickly forgotten when Australia rolled to an easy win over Sri Lanka, ending the Super 8s stage with the best net run rate out of any team in either group. While the bowling performed really well in the group stage, they struggled in the semi-final.
Australia could not stop Yuvraj Singh as he got to 70 from just 30 balls, giving Australia a target of 188 to chase. They made a good effort of it, but late wickets slowed the team down and eventually Australia fell short by 15 runs, losing to the team who would go on to win in the final.
While 2009 is seen as a massive disappointment, Australia were faced with a very difficult initial group stage. They lost both group games, first to the West Indies and then saw Sri Lanka get revenge. Australia failed to reach the Super 8s stage. They made sure to cruise through to the Super 8s stage next year.
Despite being faced with a tough group, Australia cruised through, starting with two brilliant bowling efforts to claim wins by more than 45 runs in each game. The bowling took apart the West Indies in St Lucia in the final Super 8s game and Australia were able to easily chase down 105.
This sent them to the semi-final and the bowlers could not hold down Pakistan, setting Australia 192 to chase. They were looking likely to fall out at this stage before Michael Hussey produced a wonderful innings, scoring 60 in just 24 balls to get Australia across the line with just a ball to go.
It sent the Aussies to their first World Cup final where they faced the old enemy England. Australia’s batters could not repeat their semi-final efforts, setting England just 147, a target that they chased down with ease. It made England’s ashes win in Australia six months later even worse.
After once again cruising through their initial group, Australia faced a difficult group. They began with comfortable wins over India and South Africa with Shane Watson playing brilliant match winning innings in both games. Despite the teams loss in the final game to Pakistan, they still made it through to the semi-final thanks to net run rate.
Australia faced the big hitting West Indies side and saw Chris Gayley smash 75 to take his team to 205. Australia came out swinging in reply but could not stop the loss of wickets, eventually losing the game by 74 runs, two years after making it through the semi-finals.
While this was a big disappointment for Australia, they would have loved to have made the semi-finals in the next two years. The change to the Super 10s format seemed to really hurt Australia. In 2014 they lost all but one of their Super10s games, including a batting collapse against India.
It was another Super 10s loss two years later, this time a loss in the final game to India sealed their fate. But there was soe hop heading into 2021 as Australia had become the number 1 ranked T20 side in the world in 2020.
Australia progressed to the new Super12s tournament and made it back to the semi-finals, winning all but one of their group stage games. Despite the best efforts of Mohammad Rizwan, Australia were able to chase down the score Rizwan had helped Pakistan set, leading them to the final against New Zealand.
A phenomenal captains innings from Kane Williamson set Australia 173 to win. Australia produced a brilliant batting innings in reply and Mitch Marsh led them to the title, Australia lifting to their first T20 title, with David Warner winning player of the series.
One of the few changes to this Australian team from last year is the coach. Justin Langer resigned at the start of 2022 due to issues between him and Cricket Australia. Australia decided to go for another former international as head coach, with Andrew McDonald coming in as head coach.
McDonald was an assistant to Langer since 2019 and so he has been involved with the Australian set up for the last three years. He knowns this group of players pretty well and it is why we have seen a lot of consistency in the team selection over the last year. Australia have looked good so far under McDonald and this tournament will be a big test of his coaching ability.
Australia have a huge amount of experience opening the batting for them, with both Aaron Finch and David Warner 35 years old and likely in their last or second last T20 World Cups. But the pair are still performing at a high level, with Warner being named player of the series in last years tournament.
Finch’s position in the team has been under question slightly more, but he can still produce a magical innings when needed. World Cup final hero Mitch Marsh will slot in at three, offering big hitting as well as being able to contribute with the ball. Glenn Maxwell is a similar player, offering Australia a spinning option with some big hitting up the order.
Number five is likely to be the only change in the Australian team from a year ago, with Glenn Maxwell moving up a slot and Tim David slotting in instead of Steve Smith. It is certainly an upgrade on Smith considering Smith was much more suited to the longer formats of the game.
Over the last two years, Tim David has looked like one of the best big hitters in the world, applying his trade in various domestic leagues and always impressing. He gives Australia another brilliant finishing option and his big hitting can take apart any bowling line-up. David was very close to making the team last year and he can be a difference maker this tournament.
The Australian batting line-up continues to impress. Marcus Stoinis has not been in the best batting form but still offers another big hitting option down the order. I think Matthew Wade is a really underrated asset for this Australian team.
Coming in at seven, he is the one who will often need to bring Australia out of the holes the batting line-up can dig themselves into. Wade is an excellent finisher who hits the ball sweetly. He should be coming into the tournament on good form as he was part of the Gujuarat Titans team that won the IPL earlier this year.
Australia head into this tournament with pretty much the same bowling line-up that got them to the title last year. Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are still one of the best bowling line-ups in the world, making the ball move early on and being able to hit deadly yorker’s, with Starc being one of the best bowlers of a yorker we have ever seen.
These three will carry the majority of the bowling, with Hazlewood currently ranked as the second best T20 bowler in the world. This line-up will be able to do most of the damage, but Australia still have another eight overs that need to be filled.
Adam Zampa is the teams frontline spinner and actually ranked as the seventh best T20 bowler in the world. He will be able to get the best out of his home conditions. The final four overs will be up to the captain as he will have three all rounders to choose from.
Glenn Maxwell as shown himself as a very capable contributor with the ball, but the Australian pitches have never really suited his ability. It is likely that Marcus Stoinis will be crucial to this Aussie attack, being able to get a lot of pace and bounce from these pitches due to his size and pace.
Australia have a lot of options when it comes to the bowlers and it is a very dangerous attack.
Last Match performances
Australia have not had the best warm up to the tournament, particularly in the last month. The teams batting was very good against India, but the bowling disappointed and India won the series 2-1. They followed that up with a 2-0 win over the West Indies where the bowlers did not excel.
This trend continued into their series against England, giving up an average of 193 across the first two games, which both ended as eight run wins to England. This trend will certainly worry Australian fans as the bowling line-up has a huge amount of talent, but struggles at times to show it and they can never seem to get the best out of all three of their frontline pacers.
T20 World Cup 2022 Odds
At the time of writing, Australia are 19/4 to win the World Cup, currently ranked as the fourth most likely team to win the tournament. David Warner is 82/5 wo be the tournaments top batter.
How are their chances in the tournament
There is no doubt that Australia are one of the favourites for this tournament. But I just feel as though the pressure will get to them. This team has not looked good in the lead up to the tournament and there are concerns about how the pressure of being hosts and holders will affect this team.
I think placing bets on this Australian team could be a risky move.
There are big expectations on this Australian team, but there are a few cracks in this team. They have a lot of talent but it seems the change in coaching staff will have some negative affects in their home tournament.