The Roar
The Roar


'Attacking option': Aussies bank on all-rounders for Cup opener

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
22nd October, 2021

Australia will take just four specialist bowlers into their Twenty20 World Cup opener against South Africa, with Aaron Finch putting faith in all-rounders with the ball.

Finch would not reveal the make-up of his final team at Friday’s pre-match press conference in Abu Dhabi, but confirmed he would go with seven specialist batsmen on Saturday.

It means Australia will rely on Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell to make up the overs with the ball, needing at least four to be bowled between them.

In turn, a call must now be made on which quicks Finch takes into the game, with Australia likely to roll out two spinners in Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar.

Sports opinion delivered daily 



Pat Cummins would be favoured to partner fellow quick Mitchell Starc, however Kane Richardson took 3-24 in the first warm-up game against New Zealand before sitting out against India.

Josh Hazlewood is the other pace option after strong tours of Bangladesh and West Indies and an impressive Indian Premier League, however he has not been in Australia’s T20 team for some time.

Australia generally used five specialist bowlers when they looked as if they found their T20 rhythm last year, before the pandemic led to understrength teams.

“We’ll go in with seven specialist batters, four specialist bowlers plus the all-rounders,” Finch confirmed.

Aaron Finch of Australia looks on.

(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Maxwell, Stoinis and Marsh to be able to bowl four overs as well as a chop out.

“We think that that on these wickets in these conditions that they can do a really good job and be an attacking option as much as anything.”

Australia’s preparation as it seeks a maiden T20 World Cup title has been far from ideal.


By Finch’s own admission the core group have barely played T20 cricket together in 18 months, largely as a result of the pandemic.

They lost series in both West Indies and Bangladesh while understrength, before a last-over win over New Zealand and loss to India in the warm-up games over the past week.

It comes after Australia put the short format of the game front and centre for the first time headed into last year’s planned home World Cup, before it was postponed.

“Plans have gone out the window recently but that’s part and parcel with what’s happened worldwide,” Finch said.

“We’re fully understanding of that.


“We obviously haven’t played a huge amount of cricket as a group over the last 18 months.

“But it’s coming together quite nicely. To have two really good hit out against New Zealand and India, was crucial for our preparation.”

Likely Australian team to play South Africa: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa.