Who will be in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad in 2020?

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Let’s say it’s the year 2020 today and the Australian T20 squad is selected on current form.

    First cab off the rank would be David Warner as skipper despite the fact he’s scored only 14 runs off 19 deliveries in four visits to the crease, but those four outings have resulted in four successive heavy defeats of the opposition thanks to Warner’s positive and aggressive leadership.

    The Australians beat India at Guwahati by eight wickets with 27 balls remaining, beat the Kiwis at the SCG by seven wickets with 21 balls remaining, beat England in Hobart by five wickets with nine left and beat England again at the MCG by seven wickets with 33 deliveries left. Comprehensive.

    Some team is going to pay for Warner’s run of outs. He’s far too good a batsman in all conditions and formats to be denied.

    The next big selection is what to do with Steve Smith, currently being rested for the South African tour. He’s one of the world’s best batsmen, and he is flexible enough to fit any format. His fielding also among the world’s best. He must be picked.

    But Warner is to captain the side.

    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

    The Australian batting strength and depth is awesome. Aaron Finch must be selected as a floater between one and six in the batting order. Exciting newcomer D’Arcy Short has cemented his place as Warner’s opening partner with his accurate left-arm spinners an added bonus.

    Then two of the most explosive batsmen in T20 cricket – Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell – pick themselves. And Usman Khawaja, for so long overlooked as a limited-overs batsman, must also be in the mix.

    But Marcis Stoinis looms as a casualty in the playing XI to make way for Smith. Stoinis is another explosive batsman, but his medium-pacers and his fielding aren’t strong enough to demand frontline selection.

    Alex Carey is by far the best bet as wicketkeeper with his glovework exceptional, and his batting offers a lot more stability and a greater run rate than Tim Paine.

    No World Cup in any format can afford to leave out the big three quicks – Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood – to join the tall-timber Billy Stanlake.

    (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    That means Andrew Tye and Kane Richardson become casualties among the current crop, leaving Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa, two vastly different spinners, to do battle for one spot. Agar is a quality batsman and fieldsman, giving him the inside running.

    So the 15-man squad would look like this: David Warner (c), D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Billy Stanlake.

    Starc, Stanlake, Cummins, and Agar take care of 16 overs, leaving the other four to a mix of Short, Maxwell, and Finch.

    There are ten batsmen capable of heavy hitting, leaving a strong back-up of Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa to make up the 15-man squad. That’s a World Cup-winning team.

    Bring on 2020 for T20 for a first-time Australian victory in seven attempts at the shortest format.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (84)

    • February 11th 2018 @ 7:00am
      Darren said | February 11th 2018 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      I see Tye well ahead of Hazlewood. Stoinis is miles ahead of Smith.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 7:09am
        Nigel said | February 11th 2018 @ 7:09am | ! Report

        I agree completely Darren

        • Columnist

          February 11th 2018 @ 7:39am
          David Lord said | February 11th 2018 @ 7:39am | ! Report

          I’ll concede, if push turned to shove, Andrew Tye is a better all-round proposition than Josh Hazlewood, but Marcus Stoinis isn’t on Steve Smith’s planet with bat and fielding, and maybe, just maybe, better with ball.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 10:42am
            Don Freo said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            If we look at performances, Stoinis is better with the bat. Reputation? Maybe not.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 1:51pm
            cos1 said | February 11th 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

            The big problem is that Hazlewood and co have not got enough opportunities to hone their T20 game. This is partly because of CA’s policy of prioritising tests and resting its big bowlers. I would pick Hazlewood above Tye and day of the week as far as test/odi cricket is concerned. But Tye is the better T20 bowler. Same with Richardson, for mine.

            Steve Smith presents a bigger problem. He could play as a batsman but not as the captain. But this is not the Australian way – you are either the leader of the pack or you are not, we don’t traditionally like to have different people captaining each other in different formats. So, how will this affect him and team harmony? We may all remember the ramifications of Finch having once captained Smith. Smith did not like it and Finch promptly exited the team after the captaincy was reverted back to Smith. Off memory, a few choice words to the media accompanied Finchy out the door.

            I also disagree with your assessment of Stoinos. His bowling has been invaluable. He offers another option and has kept the runs down at key times. Stanlake is a very good player but there will be surfaces and occassions where his extra pace will be a liability. Having Stoinos as another option makes sense.

            Another problem is that some players were willing to sit out international T20 and focus on a career in the longer forms. But now, because the IPL is such a money spinner, no one voluntarily wants to get let out. Some people will insist on playing in a format they do not excel in.

            We now have a very balanced and powerful team that has enjoyed a level of success that is very rare in Australian T20 history. There is simply no good reason to pull it apart, given the lack of serious success of previous combinations. Australia will have some very, very difficult choices to make and some big names are probably going to get their noses out of joint.

            • February 11th 2018 @ 1:57pm
              Marfu said | February 11th 2018 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

              cis1 – Good stuff !

          • February 11th 2018 @ 2:20pm
            Peter said | February 11th 2018 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

            I’d like to see Smudge bowl 4 overs for 18.

            • February 11th 2018 @ 4:21pm
              marfu said | February 11th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

              Peter – So would he.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 2:20pm
            Darren said | February 11th 2018 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

            Agree to disagree. Stoinis is a miles better bat than Smith in T20. Smith doesn’t bowl so not sure how he is equal to Stoinis. Stoinis fields fine so the difference not that great.
            If you bat 2-3 down you usually get 5-10 overs to shine. That is not the right format for Smith.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 10:07am
        Jameswm said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        Tye is better in this format. And Starc needs to get his mojo back.

        Smith and Stoinis for one spot is tight. I haven’t watched Smith play IPL.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 8:20am
      GOATISH said | February 11th 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Im sorry david … you seem to be as stuck as the selectors.

      Smith has been useless in the short formats for australia and shoildnt not be picked. It was 100% his captaincy and restrictive leadership style that lost the ODI series. Hes created a poor poor culture in limited overs. Example (cockily reprimanding stoinis when he was the only guy that contributed instead of taking responsibility)

      • February 11th 2018 @ 8:34am
        KJ said | February 11th 2018 @ 8:34am | ! Report

        Agree. And at the age of 30/31, I hope he’ll be focused entirely on test match cricket.

        • Roar Guru

          February 11th 2018 @ 9:34am
          The Bush said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

          Who is 30/31?

          Smith is 28.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 11:20am
            Jake said | February 11th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            Yep Bush. Do the math – in a few years time he will be…………

            There you go; good work legend I barely even helped you figure it out. Go grab yourself a biscuit.

            • Roar Guru

              February 11th 2018 @ 12:51pm
              The Bush said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Thanks mate, you’ve really contributed to the debate with your sarcasm, good work.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 10:23am
        peter chrisp said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

        I agree on Smith as he hasn’t been selected for any of these 1 dayers we are performing quite well without him & it shows on the scoreboard definitely leave him out & keep him in the Tests side only could not agree more

      • February 11th 2018 @ 12:23pm
        chuns said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

        Agree 100% with this comment. Smith us all to happy to through his team mates under the bus time and time again. His captaincy is ordinary at best, and his fielding has slipped drastically. Luckily he is perhaps the best batsman in the world in the longer format. For me he has no place in the T20 team, and is it a suprise that the wins have started flowing under Warners captaincy?

        The shorter the game the more impact a captain can have. So no Smith in the team for me. I would also relieve him of his one day captaincy duties and let him focus on his batting rather than throwing his teammates under the bus in every press conference.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 12:39pm
          marfu said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          Chuns – Hear hear.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 12:35pm
        marfu said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        GOATISH – I second your comments as loud and clear as you shout your name. As good a bat as he is, he doesn’t have the necessary composure in choosing bowling strategies, setting fields, reaction to unfavourable decisions, injudicious use of DRS, press conferences and general player management as you point out. I don’t think he had the guts to bowl himself enough in the recent tests in the few situations where England threatened to dominate where a part timer may have just been the ticket but he didn’t want to risk getting carted. His batting saved us and great captaincy wasn’t really required against a mediocre England on benign pitches.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 2:00pm
          cos1 said | February 11th 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

          I think that’s a tad harsh. For mine, some of the changes to his approach to the game that have made Smith an excellent, world-beating test play and vastly improving test captain are having an adverse effect on his batting and captaincy in the shorter forms. I would also put his recent batting slump mainly down to fatigue.He batted a lot longer than anyone last test series.

          There will be broader ramifications if Smith loses the T20 captaincy. Then again, very little loyalty was shown to Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh when they lost their ODI captaincy, and the latter lost his gig not too long after rallying his team and winning the world cup. It will be interesting to see how this will play out and what the selectors will do.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 8:56am
      Perry Bridge said | February 11th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      At present Warner is the Mike Brearley of T20s and Smith the Mike Brearley of ODIs.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 9:38am
        marfu said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        Good analogy for Warner but Smith’s captaincy in tests or ODIs is no where near Brearley.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 10:03am
          BrainsTrust said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          Brearley and the famous world cup 1979 final against the Windies with Boycott and him had a big opening partnership at about 3 runs an over off 40 overs chasing about 300 off 60. I imagine that would have included West Indies part time spinners and left the rest to try and slog the fast bowlers. Smith is a bit like him in one dayers but Warner thankfully is not.

          .

          • February 11th 2018 @ 4:35pm
            marfu said | February 11th 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

            Brains Trust – Thanks for the memories. In the context of today, that performance appears cod ordinary but it was against the dream team of Holding, Roberts, Croft, Garner and Collis King and the part time spinner was Viv Richards so no easy task. They probably couldn’t even try to go down swinging as it may have been a case of just staying alive ! I think England lost 8 wickets for 11 to cap off a bad day for them as Gower and Botham failed to pull off a fairy tale.

            Brearley was an innovative skipper who got good results against us but a couple of those series were during the absence of our World Series Cricket players.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 8:57am
      Mark GC said | February 11th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      Based on current form and taking into account variability of pitches in a world cup…..I would select Andrew Tye ahead of Stark; and Stoinis above Smith.
      Tye provides much more variation on flat tracks where there is no swing and Stoinis is a pure hitter with ability to bowl good yorkers and vary his pace.
      The only issue I see with this team is facing wily wrist spinners on turning pitches.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 10:09am
        Jameswm said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

        A lot of them reckon Stoinis hits it the hardest. Lynn must be up there.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 9:17am
      Bob Sims said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Tye for Hazlewood and Stoinis for Smith(over-rated in short form). Agree Warner captains – the players really respond to him.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 9:27am
      Adam eels2018 said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      Finch defiantly should be opening deadset if finch opened he would have got 50+ not out not nudging singles like short.

      • Roar Guru

        February 11th 2018 @ 9:57am
        Ryan H said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        I agree Finch is best suited at the top, but they also had to cram 3 openers into that team

        • February 11th 2018 @ 11:37am
          Flemo said | February 11th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Best top 3 would be Warner finch and khawaja, khawaja has just been sublime in t20 in the last 3 years and a shame his thumb injury didn’t allow more cricket in these games

          • February 11th 2018 @ 12:31pm
            Stephen said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

            Khawaja is just been phenomenal and when fit is easily in the top 6 best T20 batsman in the country

            • February 11th 2018 @ 2:09pm
              Perry Bridge said | February 11th 2018 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

              The problem is that Warner is no longer a first pick T20I player and Smith isn’t either – and is struggling in ODIs.

              • February 11th 2018 @ 5:51pm
                Flemo said | February 11th 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                Let’s just lock in warner, khawaja, Lynn, smith. Max well and stonis as our top 6, best top 6 for t20

              • February 11th 2018 @ 5:56pm
                Don Freo said | February 11th 2018 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

                It’s quite likely none of them will be in our best side in 30 months time. I’d suggest right now that Warner, Khawaja, Lynn and Smith are not in our best side and that Stoinis may not be either.

                The thing is, we have many rich talents that are not getting a go yet because we don’t have enough spots in a side.

          • Roar Guru

            February 11th 2018 @ 10:55pm
            JamesH said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

            Can we stop making out that Khawaja is some kind of T20 saviour? Go and look at his record – it’s solid, but hardly outstanding.

            He had one excellent season in the BBL back in 2016 and that’s about it. He followed that up with his solitary IPL season where he didn’t pass 30. On top of that, his strike rate is only 126, which is bog average for a top order batsman, and he’s no better than passable in the field.

            The reality is that when Khawaja’s facing pace bowling on a flat pitch he creams them, but as soon as there’s some movement or the pace is taken off the ball it’s a different story.

            • February 12th 2018 @ 7:54am
              Christo the Daddyo said | February 12th 2018 @ 7:54am | ! Report

              He looked pretty good in the BBL this season too you know…

            • February 12th 2018 @ 9:53pm
              Mitch said | February 12th 2018 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

              He was our best batsman in the last t20 world cup are you saying that multiple international class bowlers are useless?

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