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Damien Fleming - Swinging It Right

Ponting’s side at the World Twenty20 in England has eight players above the age of 30

Monday, May 11, 2022
Aussie call for 'experience' at WT20

WHEN you visualise the 20/20 cricket dynamic it conjures up images of nonstop cricket action. Cricket’s balls flying over boundaries and stumps cart wheeling out of place while packed crowds cheer hysterically. Its new and exciting.

Speedster Brett Lee and resurgent all-rounder Shane Watson (in picture) were named in Australia's Twenty20 world championship squad despite injury clouds over both players. © AFP
However pedictable and reliable were the emotions that come to my mind when perusing the Australian squad for the T20 world cup in the UK. Familiar names Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Brett Lee proven class players in all forms but do we need newer fresh names like the Indian squad. Callum Ferguson, Dirk Nannes, Shane Harwood and Moises Henriques some young some old all relatively new names but experienced in domestic 20/20 cricket.

The squad has been picked on reputations built in the test and on day arena and that’s fair enough as we haven’t really played a lot of international 20/20 cricket. So besides that New South Wales left handed swashbuckler David Warner there are no specialist 20/20 players in the squad. I think it will take until the next T20 world cup to know who our guns are

India went with a relatively young squad. They have only two players who are 30 or over Sehwag and Zaheer Khan as opposed to Australia who have 8 of their squad over 30.The blueprint for this was there win in the previous T20 final in 2007 with a very young squad. No Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid or Kumble etc. The rose to the trophy with carried by the cavalier approach Gambhir, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. Who will ever forget his 6 sixers in one over? Probably not big Stuart Broad the man bowling at the time.
And with the ball we watch irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Sreesanth all swing the ball around and got early wickets. And Harbajan Singh was at his probing best as always getting wicket at an economical rate. Their victory was a tick for a young squad with no fear in a unknown form of the game.

England and South Africa have gone with a balance of experience international performers and domestic 20/20 stand outs. Pakistan have to be respected they have won 13 out of their 17 games they have played. Misbah-ul-Haq averages over 50 with an excellent strike rate in T20 international cricket. Umar Gul (24 wickets in 14 games at just 4.88 runs and over) and Shahid Afridi (22 wickets in 16 games at less than a run a ball) have been big wicket takers and economical as well.

What we do have to remember is the disappointing result of the Aussies in the inaugural T20 world cup in South Africa where the Aussies lost to the youthful Indian team in the Semi Final stage. Australia Were embarrassed by their performances and injuries linking it to a poor preparation leading into the tournament. Like the build up for the 2006 ICC Champions trophy a trophy that had never sat in the Cricket Australia’s offices the Australians primed themselves to win the event so hence we see the big guns be rolled out for this one. But is it a young mans game?