Defending T20 World champions Australia, on September 1, released their 15-member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

Defending T20 World champions Australia, on September 1, released their 15-member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. It is worth noting that there has been no change in Australia’s squad from the 2021 T20 World Cup except for one player. The Singapore international Tim David comes in place of Mitchell Swepson. The article will shed light on the strengths, weaknesses, players to look out for, and the schedule for Australia at the World Cup.

Strengths

1. Tim David

David is a Singaporean- Australian cricketer. He made his debut for Singapore in 2019. The 26-year-old middle-order batsman is a power hitter known for his six-hitting prowess. Impressed by his display for Singapore and Mumbai Indians, Cricket Australia decided to take David in the team. The board fast-tracked all the documentation work required for David to play for the national team. David has scored 558 runs for Singapore in 14 matches, averaging 46.50. For Mumbai Indians, Tim played eight matches and scored 186 runs. Of those 186 runs he amassed, 144 runs came in boundaries.

2. Strong seam unit

Despite Mitchell Starc being ruled out of the India tour due to a knee injury, he will join Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. The trio are a deadly force, and that too on their home turf. Hazlewood, who ranks first in the T20I bowling charts, has bowled well this year. The 31-year-old has picked up 14 wickets in six matches in 2022

3. Strong middle order

One of the worrying areas for most teams coming to the World Cup is their out-of-form middle-order. Whether India or Pakistan, their middle-order batters find it hard to win matches single-handedly. But it is not the case with Australia. The Kangaroos have one of the best middle-order line-ups in the tournament, each player being a match-winner. Glenn Maxwell needs no introduction. He can shift gears in no time and take the match in his team’s favour. The 33-year-old has not been able to replicate the same performance as last year, but he cannot be taken lightly. Then comes Mitchell Marsh. His 77 of 50 balls in the final against New Zealand in 2021 final helped Australia win their maiden T20 World Cup. Maxwell at 3, Marsh at 4, and David at 5 make them one of the most destructive middle-order line-ups.

Weaknesses

1. Aaron Finch’s form

Aaron Finch recently announced his retirement from the ODIs to focus on the T20Is. His worrying form in the 50-over game would impact him mentally coming into this mega-event. Finch has amassed 247 T20I runs this year in nine innings and led the Aussies to the glory last year. But compared to the form his opening pair David Warner is in, the opposition would look to exploit Finch.

2. Steve Smith 

There is hardly any match for Steve Smith in the red-ball arena. But in the shortest format of the game, the 33-year-old has his struggles. This year, Smith has played just three T20Is and amassed 42 runs. Smith is known to anchor the innings, and to keep him in the playing XI for that role, the Aussies need to sacrifice one of their power hitters.

3. Lack of T20I matches in 2022

After the 2021 World Cup, Australia played just 9 T20I matches, and six of them were against Sri Lanka. In comparison, India played 28 T20Is in 2022. Thus, the lack of T20 matches could prove costly for the Aaron Finch-led side.

Players to Watch out for

1. David Warner

Warner is one of the most destructive opening batsmen in the world. He was the player of the series in the previous edition and is the player to watch out for.

2. Tim David

The faith Cricket Australia has shown in Tim David makes it interesting to see what the 26-year-old will offer in his maiden World Cup.

Schedule

October 22 – Australia vs New Zealand, 12:30 pm, Sydney Cricket Ground   

October 25 – Australia vs TBD, 4:30 pm, Perth Stadium  

October 28 – Australia vs England, 1.30 pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground   

October 31 – Australia vs TBD, 1:30 pm, Gabba stadium

November 4 – Australia vs Afghanistan, 1:30 pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground   

Squad

Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. 

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