Are Australia Likely to Defend their title at the World T20 2022 ? : Squad Strengths and Concerns
On Thursday, the defending champions Australia became the first team to announce their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, due to commence in October.
The Aussie selectors have backed the squad which won them the T20 World Cup in 2021 in the United Arab Emirates as they named an almost unchanged squad for this year in hopes of defending their title, except the surprise inclusion of Tim David, which many would say is a bold selection call.
This article would analyse the Australian squad with strengths and concerns.
The opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch is an explosive one and both can be destructive on their day, helping their side win and causing troubles to the opposition. The middle order of the side also looks stable, with three genuine all-round options part of the squad and possibly the playing XI to follow behind the openers playing a key role in batting.
The pace trio of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins could be deadly on their home pitches and are expected to do the damage to the opponent team.In the spin department with the exclusion of Mitchell Swepson, who was left out to make space for Tim David in the squad, the Aussie squad now has only two proper spin options- Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar with an additional part-timer available in the form of Glenn Maxwell.
Adam Zampa is likely to be the frontline spin option who can be part of the playing XI, whereas Ashton Agar to serve as his back-up choice, meanwhile Glenn Maxwell will also be expected to contribute with his part-time off spin bowling.
However, it is the Pace attack which would be the strength of the Aussies and that they would be relying on heavily to help in their successful title defence. The pace attack will be led by the number 1 ranked T20I bowler Josh Hazlewood accompanied by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins with Kane Richardson serving as the back-up of this frontline trio. There are also some other options in the form of Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis who can also offer some handy overs of Pace if needed.
The X Factor:
One significant selection and the only change that has been made to the Aussie squad is the inclusion of the maverick batter Tim David. Having played various domestic T20 tournaments across the globe, Tim has proved himself as being one of the most fierce strikers of the ball, and he also serves as an additional part-timer and can chip in with some handy overs whenever required.
He is yet to represent Australia, with all his international appearances being from Singapore. Tim David in his T20 career has a fearsome strike rate of 164.17, with an average of over 30, and his exceptional stats show how brilliant he can be and how he has the ability to change the course of a game in the blink of an eye.
The main challenge for Australia will be in regard to squad selection and selecting the right people in the playing XI. It will be a challenge to slot in Tim David, as Australia already has an established middle-order, however Tim David can be a great inclusion if slotted in the middle, as with his power hitting ability and having him alongside Glenn Maxwell at the end of overs will definitely be promising for Australia in order to get them to higher totals and higher chances of winning.
Another challenge for Australia would be the poor form of their skipper Aaron Finch. Since the start of 2021, Finch has averaged under 30 with the bat, with a strike rate of below 125. There were many questions regarding his poor form and selection, however his past record and excellent leadership qualities led to him being backed once again and being handed over the leadership of the side yet again in hopes that he leads the side to back-to-back T20 World Cup glory.
To conclude it can be seen, that the Australian squad is full of firepower and most of these players have been seen in form over the whole year and with a clear strategy of using pace as their strength and the added advantage of having home conditions, Australia are definitely looking strong contenders to win the World Cup and to defend their title at their home soil.