Remember that holiday you took to Goa last year?
That one where you booked your tickets over a year in advance but forgot to properly research?
You chose what you thought was a good hotel package, but when you arrived, the rooms were smaller than you thought. The walk to the beach was a block too far and the hotel bar was overpriced.
On top of that, the weather wasn’t all that great.
Yes, you had a holiday. Yes, it had some fun moments. But it’s just not a vacation you will ever tell the grand kids about.
It was like eating half melted ice-cream. Sure, it was still ice-cream, but the ice-cream experience was missing.
This is how the Aussies will feel after the ICC World Twenty20 in India.
They are a confused and curious case when it come the the shortest version of the game.
Australia has the ability to create the Big Bash and turn it into a roaring success. Yet until last week, its national team hadn’t won a T20I for something close to 450 days.
As I write this, Aaron Finch is the highest ranked T20 batsman in the world. This is despite his country only playing one T20I in 2015.
He is also in an environment where chatter suggests his place in the side may be at risk? Strange.
None of Australia’s selectors have ever played a T20I.
It is a game that has a very different flow to Test and ODI cricket.
The result of this is that Australia’s best ever off spinner has not been chosen for an Indian tour, one of its best batsmen in George Bailey has also been ignored, yet Ashton Agar is selected on a hunch.
Hasn’t the Agar hunch thing been tried on numerous times before? It never works. Why will this time be any different?
The same has occurred with Coulter-Nile.
He was selected despite not having played a match in over a year. I dare anyone to put forward a logical argument to support his case.
Australia has just come off a series win in South Africa.
Not a bad result, but what have we learnt?
Why was the series not played in India? How does playing in Johannesburg prepare either team for Chennai or Mumbai or Delhi?
The Australian top order is strong enough to create some interesting moments. Unfortunately, no one knows what the best top 6 looks like.
In the recent series, we saw Warner drop down to number 4. This was in an effort to allow Watson to open the batting with either Finch or Khawaja. Well, I think that was the reason. Not even the selectors know for sure.
Irrespective, it doesn’t seem to have hampered Warner’s results.
However, given this “experiment” is happening so late in the piece, can anyone say with certainty what Australia’s best batting order looks like?
Is it Watson, Finch, Khawaja, Warner, Smith, Maxwell?
Is that followed by Mitch Marsh, Faulkner, Hastings, Neville and Hazlewood?
Does that seem one batsman heavy?
Perhaps an all rounder heavy?
It is clearly a spinner short.
Is Australia really only going to play one legitimate strike bowler?
Australia is also missing Mitchell Starc through injury. Taking the world’s best white ball bowler out of any team never has a positive effect on that team’s chances.
The ICC World Twenty20 may not be labelled a “World Cup”, but it may as well be. The fans are treating it like one. The winner will celebrate like it is one.
So why hasn’t Australia prepared like it is one?
At the end of this tournament, Australia will board a plane and head back home. But Australia will not be coming home with the silverware.
They will have had a vacation. There will be some moments. But no one will ever raise the trip in conversation as a life highlight.
However, they haven’t planned correctly, they haven’t selected well and the whole campaign is extremely ad hoc.
Originally published at First Post
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