12/07/2022
Aaron Finchs Australia will be hoping to become the first team to successfully defend the ICC T20 World Cup crown when the super 12 phase begins on October 22.

As the main draw of the ICC marquee event begins, Aaron Finch’s men would be looking to get the monkey of their back as since its inception in 2007, no team has defended the T20 world title.

This time a year ago, few were tipping Australia to win their first T20 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Special Page

Unfamiliar and unfavourable conditions in the UAE and Oman did not augur well for a nation whose fortunes in the shortest form have waxed and waned.

But Finch’s men delivered compelling cricket when it mattered and with the most settled squad in the tournament, will now defend their title on home soil.

Australia have made only one change to the squad that emerged victorious in 2021 and will aim to become the first team to retain the T20 World Cup.

All eyes on David

That brings Tim David into the fray, a burly Singapore-born batter who hit 16 of the 86 balls he faced in the IPL in 2022 for six.

Finch has largely used him at six in the early days of his T20 international career, marking a subtle shift in orthodoxy that has seen power hitters traditionally placed high in the order and former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor has already said that David is one of the players to watch out for in this edition of the World Cup Down Under.

Warner the key

In batting David Warner will be the key once again. The opener’s three half-centuries and 289 runs were pivotal to the 2021 triumph. This month the left-hander smacked 75 against West Indies and 73 against England to suggest he is rounding into form once again.

The batting order is finely balanced between power and poise, with skipper Finch offering a steady hand on the tiller and Matthew Wade one of the finest finishers in the game. They will hope to see a change in fortunes for Glenn Maxwell and that David comes off on major event debut.

Lethal Cummins

Australia’s pace attack have reinvented themselves in the T20 format with the outstanding Pat Cummins capable of taking the ball in any given situation. Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc combine to form a peerless battery that will make merry on bouncy tracks.

However concerns remain over the spin bowling department and an over-reliance on Adam Zampa.

Task cut out for Finch

Australia did not start well at the T20 World Cup in the inaugural edition in 2007, with their first game ended in five-wicket defeat to Zimbabwe. They recovered to make the semifinals and their turbulent relationship with T20 continued with a group-stage exit in 2009.

Australia were well beaten by rivals England in the 2010 final and reached the semifinals in 2012. It looked like they had been left behind by the rest of the world when they failed to navigate the Super 10 in both 2014 and 2016 but a rousing run to the final last year wiped the slate clean. So Finch has his task cut out this time!

(With ICC inputs)