In the early hours of Friday morning Australian time, Australia wrapped up a convincing win against an underrated Sri Lankan side.
Australia is now two and zero in the middle stages of the tournament, after limping home against South Africa first up.
Hosted in the United Arab Emirates and Oman on slow, low and tacky pitches, spin has played a prominent role.
England’s thumping win over the West Indies, by six wickets with 70 balls remaining, saw Moeen Ali and Rashid Khan take 6-19 from 6.2 overs.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Afghanistan humiliated Scotland. After posting an imposing 4-190, with wonderful hitting from Najbullah Zadran, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahmin combined to claim figures of 9-29, also from 6.2 overs.
Australia’s tactics are diametrically opposed to these opponents’ mysterious wrists and magical fingers.
In Australia’s first game, the imposing trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took 5-68 from their 12 overs. Hardly the mind-bending figures of those spinners, but imposing, economic figures.
The Australian quicks led from the front again in the Sri Lanka game, with four of the six wickets going to Starc and Cummins.
It’s not that Australia’s spinners aren’t being utilised. Adam Zampa has had two good games and is going at less 4.5 runs per over.
Glenn Maxwell was very good against South Africa, figures of 1-24 from his quota of four, and got slapped by Sri Lanka, taking 1-16 from one.
It was predicted that spin would play a big part in this tournament, and on these pitches it will.
But that’s not the Australian way, a new horrifying slogan/meme that has recently entered our national lexicon.
And after the wobble against South Africa, it looks like Australia can avoid a dire result.
Both David Warner and Aaron Finch found form against Sri Lanka. Maxwell didn’t come off, but that’s alright, Steve Smith anchored, and then Marcus ‘the main tanner’ Stoinis finished it off, striking at over 200.
The game against Sri Lanka was the Australian way personified. Quick bowling hitting the deck hard. One quality spinner. Four overs of rubbish.
That was followed by hitting at the top and the wonderfully mercurial Maxwell, Smith doing stuff, and the ongoing project to turn Stoinis into our finisher, which is progressing steadily and well.
Pakistan, with their similarly talented fast bowlers, have successfully pursued a similar model, though with a little more organisation and planning behind it.
All that being said, it’s unlikely Australia will make it too deep in the tournament.
They’re now well placed to make it out of the group stages and that’s more than I was expecting a week ago.
But outside that, the stronger teams have better hitting, better spinners, and are better balanced.
Australia won’t win this tournament. And that’s okay. But they’re going to lose the way Australian teams have lost T20s since their inception, by wilfully ignoring prevailing wisdom and playing the way they want to play because our cricket is just better.
At least the bowlers are properly quick.
So, England will win. Go Pakistan!