18/05/2024
Dan Christian T20 World Cup

Dan Christian has an important part to play in Australia's T20 World Cup ambitions (Photo: ICC/Twitter)

The T20 World Cup is now only two months away. The Inner Sanctum has picked the squad that Australia should take to the UAE.

Australia has suffered another abysmal loss in the T20s. This time, it was a 4-1 series loss against Bangladesh. Bangladesh isn’t even an automatic qualifier for the upcoming T20 world cup, to put this into context. Australia’s squad is obviously in trouble.

The T20 World Cup is now only two months away, and Australia looks nowhere near winning. The argument seems to be once they get the best players back, Australia can turn it around.

In 2021, Australia has played 15 T20s so far. The team has only won four. Something will need to change. Hopefully, this can be as simple as good selection.

To hopefully answer some of these questions, The Inner Sanctum takes you through the 15 players Australia should take to the T20 World Cup to give themselves some chance of taking home the trophy.

First XI

(1) David Warner

Warner has been a stalwart in Australia’s T20 set-up for over a decade at this. His skill in T20 is unmatched. He is also one of the best IPL players of all time, with over 5000 runs.

In his last 11 T20 matches for Australia, he averages 94.60 at a strike rate of 138.20. He is the first name on the team sheet and will be a crucial part of this line-up.

(2) Aaron Finch (c)

Finch assuming he is fit, is Australia’s most important player.

Since ‘sandpaper-gate’, he has captained this side exceptionally well. More importantly, however, are his international numbers. In international T20s, Finch has scored 2473 runs at an average of 38 and striking at over 150.

Amazingly, he also has two of only three T20 international scores of over 150. An in-form Finch can win Australia the World Cup off his own bat.

(3) Mitch Marsh

It’s hard to imagine that Mitch Marsh would be pencilled in for the World Cup six months ago.

During Australia’s many losses over the last six months, Marsh has stood up as the only batsman to assert himself. Over his last ten games, Marsh has scored 375 runs, and the following best was only 135.

Marsh also offers something with the ball. In those same ten matches, Marsh also took eight wickets. Based on form alone, Marsh is a must-start

Mitch Marsh has been in excellent form with the bat recently.

(4) Marcus Stoinis

While Marsh may have overtaken Stoinis as the number one all-rounder, he is undoubtedly still a starter for the World Cup.

Stoinis has solid career numbers, averaging 25 with the bat across his T20i career. However, Stoinis has shown he is better than this through his massive BBL numbers in recent years.

Last season, Stoinis scored 396 runs at a strike rate of 142. Stoinis isn’t a lock like others in the squad, but should be afforded a starting spot.

(5) Glenn Maxwell

It seems many Aussie fans are pinning their hopes to a Maxwell comeback.

His stocks have risen since staying at home to avoid more bio bubbles. While it is an entirely understandable situation, you can’t help but think what the West Indies and Bangladesh tours could’ve been with him there.

No Australian is more exciting than Maxwell. Importantly, his numbers also stack up. In his last 23 matches for Australia, Maxwell has averaged 30, with the bat striking at over 150. He is a must pick for Australia.

(6) Josh Inglis (wk)

While it may seem odd to select someone to debut during the T20 World Cup, it has become apparent Inglis is the only hope.

During the West Indies and Bangladesh series Australia picked four different wicketkeepers, none of whom performed. While Wade was the captain, his spot never looked secure either.

Inglis has had an incredible 12 months, and should be selected. Last year in the BBL, he scored 413 runs at 34, and in the T20 Blast he scored 531 runs at 48 at a strike rate of almost 180.

He is Australia’s most in-form keeper. If Australia is serious about winning, he needs to be given the opportunity.

Josh Inglis smashed his first of two T20 Blast centuries against Northamptonshire earlier in the year.

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(7) Dan Christian

No one has been talked about for this squad more than Dan Christian.

Christian can be polarising; the people who want him think he will save this team, and some believe he is overrated. Up until the fourth match against Bangladesh, he was well out of this side. However, hitting 30 from one Shakib over showed everyone what he could do.

Christian is a versatile player who gives Australia a variety of different options. He was the second-best batsman behind Marsh against Bangladesh, and his experience will be invaluable for the Aussie squad.

(8) Ashton Agar

Undoubtedly, Agar has been Australia’s best T20 bowler of the last few years.

His accuracy, changes in pace and flight deceive many of the world’s best batsmen. Agar’s game has also grown over the previous few years to include mature batting.

Agar’s spin will be crucial on the dusty spinning wickets of the UAE, especially during the powerplay and middle overs.

Over his last 26 matches for Australia, Agar has taken 32 wickets at an average of only 19. Most importantly is an economy rate of only 6.36. Agar is a sure starter for Australia.

(9) Pat Cummins

There is no better all-format bowler in the world than Pat Cummins. No one can bowl as quick and as accurate as him.

While questions have been asked of Cummins in the IPL, he is a first-choice player for Australia. His numbers for Australia are also excellent. In his last 12 matches, Cummins has taken 14 wickets at an average of 20.

He may also be Australia’s next all-format captain. He will no doubt begin the T20 World Cup campaign in the first eleven.

(10) Mitchell Starc

Starc has had a tough time in T20s over the last year or so. However, from the ODI matches in the West Indies, it was clear his form is back.

When on form, Starc is one of the best white-ball bowlers of all time. Since 2018 he has taken 21 wickets in 19 T20 international matches.

He can swing the ball at the beginning of the innings and bowl deadly yorkers at the death. This makes him a must pick player for Australia.

Mitchell Starc has the ability to hit the stumps at will when in form

(11) Adam Zampa

Since 2018, Zampa has been Australia’s highest T20 international wicket-taker.

The improvement that he has shown has been remarkable. He always could bowl an amazing wrong’un, but more recently his changes of pace have also been more effective on the spinning wickets of the UAE.

Surprisingly, Zampa has now taken the most wickets in T20 internationals for Australia, with 52 in his career. He will have to play a big part if Australia is to win the World Cup.

Reserves

(12) Josh Hazlewood

If the T20 World Cup was played in more seam friendly conditions, there is no doubt Hazlewood would be in the first choice XI. Unfortunately for him in spinning conditions, Australia will want to go in with at least two spinners.

Hazlewood is a vastly underrated bowler, especially true in T20s. In T20 internationals over the last two years, he averages just over 20 at an economy of under seven. Hazlewood will be an excellent backup to Starc and Cummins.

(13) Matthew Wade

While he was captain against Bangladesh in the recent series, Wade finds himself out of the first XI. His results haven’t been good enough for 24 months at this point.

The reason for his inclusion is the be the backup wicketkeeper. If Inglis were to break a finger in the first match, there is no doubt Wade would be a good backup.

He is on the reserve list because he has averaged only 18 with the bat over the last two years. 18 is just not good enough to put himself into the first XI ahead of Inglis.

(14) Mitchell Swepson

Swepson is one of Australia’s most underrated bowlers. If it weren’t for Zampa in white-ball cricket and Lyon in tests, Swepson would be one of Australia’s first-choice players.

No Aussie bowler spins the ball more than Swepson. Unfortunately, in an era of quick leg spinners like Rashid Khan and Adam Zampa, Swepson can’t get a proper look in.

In the limited opportunity to date just six matches over the last two years, Swepson has taken nine wickets at an average of 15. He will provide excellent backup to the spinners Zampa and Agar.

Swepson showed us all his skills late last year against India

(15) Marnus Labuschagne

Steve Smith will most likely not be available for the World Cup, so why not choose Marnus instead?

While many see Labuschagne as a test specialist, his T20 numbers with bat and ball are very good. In T20 cricket, he averages 32 with the bat and only 21 with the ball.

Labuschagne may not be in the first choice eleven but could provide some stable batting if Australia gets in trouble during the tournament.

With the World Cup now just two months away with the first ball being bowled on the 17th of October, Australia has a lot of work to do. However, if Justin Langer can put a solid and intelligent squad together, there is still hope for Australian fans.

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