Its been 8 months that Australia have not played a T20I match as a team. They resume in South Africa playing a 3 match series against host. For this tour they have rested few senior players who were involved in Ashes.
The 13-man squad is led by new captain Mitchell Marsh. It includes 3 new players (Aaron Hardie, Matt Short and Spencer Johnson). They have done well in this format at domestic level. One can understand Australia resting key players as they are getting ready for 50-over World in months’ time here in India. Having said this, T20WC is not far away and they need get right squad combination. As a team between now and 2024 T20WC there are only handful of matches for them to find out!.
Hence post SA series would be an interesting scenario for this Australian squad. How many will represent green/gold and how many will get omitted from this squad.
There is no doubt like England and India, Australia have lot of T20 specialist, but its vital that teams get their right XI on that day!. For that to happen the squad needs to be very flexible, and interestingly their squad have only 3 single skilled player(Adam Zampa, Nathan Ellis and Jason Behrendorff) rest 10 players are multi-skilled.
This format is very fragile in terms of batting. The role play is not clear for a batsman, hence we notice many potential players unable to perform to their best. Australia probably is the only country where few talented players have missed out on selection!. They have been slow in identifying players for this format inspite having the best T20 Franchise cricket.
One can understand excessive T20 cricket played all round the world, and like Australia there are players from other countries have missed out on selection.
However there are two countries who have adapted to “excess of cricket” quickly, they are England and New Zealand.
England are getting stronger with each series(irrespective of format) compartmentalising players for 3 format. Although their bowling is hit by regular injuries to their fast bowler, they are still balancing success using power batting!.
New Zealand, is unlike England. They have taken different road to sharpening their teams for all format. Hence they don’t have a similar success rate as England. They are not focusing or winning or leadership. They are creating specialist for each format that can work in pair.
I dare say, they are the only team that is coming close to playing TOTAL CRICKET!!.
Coming back to Australia. Here is a stats analysis of last season’s BBL (2023). Here I have chosen various relevant indices that reflects
- Consistency in long tournament for batsmen/bowlers
- for batsmen 20+scores and consecutive 15 +scores
- for bowlers PF, C PF, L5, C 5,
- In batting gfx below % Power hitting (boundary/100 balls), Rotation of strike (%2s/3s, % 2 Cons. SS), Performance (Avg runs/inns, Avg balls/inns faced)