Cricket: T20 Preview: Australia v Ireland


Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign will kick off against Ireland at 8.00pm AEST Wednesday September 19th (tonight).

Ranked 9th, one spot above their opponents, Australia’s T20 record has of late been disappointing.  Under new captain George Bailey, their record hasn’t been brilliant.  The team doesn’t have enough T20 experience under their belt, most of them missing domestic tournaments because of international duties.

There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel.  Bailey is a fantastic all-round cricketer and is capable of amassing piles of runs.  The experienced David Hussey, while sitting this match out, can turn to his huge amount of match experience.

The young guns are starting to make their mark too.  Mitchell Starc has had a great last 12 months, and will come in in red-hot form after his 3-11 performance against Pakistan.  Pat Cummins is in too, and at 19, looks set to become part of the new youth brigade of bowlers (including James Pattinson).

The omission of David Hussey comes as Australian coach Mickey Arthur looks to keep a consistent line-up for the tournament.  Speaking to Cricket Australia, Arthur said his main game plan was to ensure the Aussies would be able to settle against both Ireland and the West Indies.

“We wanted to get everything structured and stable before we went into the tournament,” said Arthur ahead of tonight’s match.

The Aussies will be seeking to boost both their Twenty20 standing and form.  Ireland have shown immense promise, and previous 50 over world cups have shown they won’t give up without a fight.  Mike Hussey’s role as game-changer/middle-order-saver cannot be understated.  Victorian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, selected in the side ahead of Hussey, displayed impressive form during the three-match series against Pakistan.  His off-spinners will be crucial in helping stem any scoring rot from the opposition.

David Warner is another that really needs to step up.  His form of late (very evident in the Pakistan series) has been below average.  His ability to put bowlers where he pleases at will has been lacking.  On the subcontinent pitches, Warner may find that spinners could play to his advantage.

Overall, if the Australians work hard for their rewards, success and possibly a higher T20 ranking are there for the taking.

Prediction: Australia

(quote source: cricket.com.au)

(Image source: Google Images)

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