Having won the World Cup, the bookies have England as clear favourites to win the upcoming Ashes series. But are the Aussies really so far off the pace?
While other countries have realised how valuable spin bowling is to T20 cricket, usually picking two specialist spinners, Australia have usually opted for just one tweaker.
Of the 18 T20 internationals that Australia played in 2018, two specialist spinners were used just five times, one was used 11 times, while in one game it rained before the Aussies bowled.
Against South Africa on the Gold Coast, which was shortened to ten overs a team, Australia opted against picking a specialist spinner instead going with a four-man pace attack – a poor decision given that all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was Australia’s most economical bowler for the match.
Australia should pick two specialist spinners for the upcoming series in India.
Despite being dropped earlier in the summer, Adam Zampa should now be the first-choice spinner. Veteran Steve O’Keefe should be rewarded for his strong Big Bash form and go as the second spinner. James Faulkner and Jhye Richardson should be the pace options.
As for the batting order, D’Arcy Short should open with youngster Josh Philippe, while Marcus Stoinis’ excellent domestic form should see him promoted to three.
Maxwell should bat four and take over the captaincy, while Aaron Finch, Ashton Turner and Dan Christian should round out the top seven.