by Rex Clementine
Vic Richardson, who was Test captain of Don Bradman, had an interesting advice for his eldest grandson, who was a promising cricketer. ‘If you ever go onto captain Australia, don’t do it like a Victorian.’ The grandson’s name, by the way, is Ian Chappell, who happened to be a ruthless captain.
Victoria, is one of Australia’s six states and the notion in the good old days was that the Victorians were traditional and rarely thought out of the box. All that would be hit for a six if Aaron Finch, a Victorian himself, who helped Australia win their maiden T-20 World Cup last year enables them to become the first team to win back to back titles.
Finch’s been in horror form though. So poor his recent returns, he retired from ODI cricket leaving Australia without a captain in the 50 over format. Australia’s selectors are known to be ruthless but they have treated Finch with kid’s gloves as they know that here’s a man whose leadership qualities are unparalleled and much needed for Australia to defend the title.
Australia would start the campaign as one of the favourites to win the title. Not just because that the series is played in their backyard but they are a team that has all bases covered and has depth. No team perhaps has the variety that they have except maybe Pakistan.
There’s only one change from the Australian squad that won the World Cup last year. Mitchell Swepson has been axed and fair enough as two leg-spinners in Australian conditions is like carrying coals to Newcastle.
The replacement they have brought in is an exciting one although some Australian fans haven’t seen or heard of him. Well, leave alone Aussie supporters even some of their players like Mitchell Starc haven’t met Tim David.
Singapore born Tim David is a globetrotter playing T-20 Leagues all over the world. He’s been such a prolific traveler that he has visited more cities in the world than Donald Trump did during his four year tenure as US President.
David’s been deadly making a massive impact in the Leagues that he’s been part of. His highest Strike Rate in league cricket is for Mumbai Indians – 216 – while his lowest Strike Rate is for Southern Brave – 156 – that’s by no means below par according to world standards. His specialty compared with other fine strikers of the ball is that he can clear the boundary in different directions and that he’s good against both pace and spin.
Australia has free flowing openers in David Warner and Aaron Finch to take care of the Power Plays. Mitchell Marsh at number three stabilizes things and then comes their fire power – Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Marcus Stoinis and Mathew Wade. Where is Steve Smith? You may wonder. Well, he could well be warming the benches. Such is Australia’s depth in T-20 cricket and there’s no reason why they should go onto defend their title.
Then their bowling which is quite enviable. The pace trio of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are well complemented by Adam Zampa. Honestly, you wouldn’t premeditate to target a bowler there. That leaves you with Australia’s fifth bowling option which comes in the form of Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell. You aren’t going to post formidable totals against such a quality attack.
If someone were to beat the Aussies in this campaign, they have got to play out of their skin.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.