Australia’s first Test series this summer will be against a challenging Pakistan side.
Australia’s track record in limited-overs tournaments has been exceptional, with four one day international World Cups and two Champions Trophies – the leading multiple winners in both tournaments. But the T20 World Cup has been out of their grasp, with a second place position being the best result.
While plenty of young guns made the 30 man squad for the 2014 T20 World Cup I outlined yesterday, if Australia are serious about winning the tournament, few young guns should be picked in the final 15.
George Bailey (C)
Ben Dunk (wk)
Mitchell Starc, Chris Lynn, Moises Henriques, Nathan Coulter-Nile
In a line-up dominated by players who have locked up batting spots, Ben Dunk makes the cut for the final squad due to his ability to be used as a pinch hitter and to provide some fireworks at the bottom of the batting order.
Wicketkeeping skills in this format could be the difference between a win or a loss but Matthew Wade’s inability to bat lower down the order and provide that late innings boost is critical in his non-selection, as well as the minute difference in their keeping abilities.
The batting order has the potential to churn out mammoth totals as well as having the mixture of stability and late hitting in Bailey and Smith before the finishing with the ‘Big Show’ (Maxwell), Dunk and Faulkner.
The bowling stocks were the toughest to choose from.
The three chosen in the XI provide aggression as well as controlled ‘death overs’ bowling.
Mitchell Starcs’ exclusion in the XI was due to Johnson’s ripping form of late and the consistent output of Faulkner and the refusal to come out with an all-leftie bowling attack.
While Pattinson’s speed and aggression is brilliant, Starc is arguably the best young ODI bowler in the world of late, with his mixture of swing and pace to go with the height advantage.
Chris Lynn has been rewarded for a stellar Big Bash season which has made him into the Heat’s best player and Moises Henriques has been selected to provide another top six option along with a bowling option.
Coulter-Nile is the lucky player to make the final spot. From the three matches he has played in this year’s Big Bash he has the best strike rate in the competition and has the added bonus of being the reserve quick throughout the whole Ashes series, being duly rewarded with a handful of games in the current ODI series against England.
With the provisional squad listed, Australia stands to go deep into the tournament if all the pieces fall into place.
Being drawn in group two – along with limited overs juggernaut India, reigning champions the West Indies, the very unpredictable Pakistan and a qualifying Associate side – Australia has been dealt the lesser of two evils, with the other group containing Test champions South Africa as well as limited overs specialists New Zealand and Sri Lanka.