World T20 Preview: Ad hocism, poor planning and illogical selection policy leave Australia with little chance - Firstpost
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World T20 Preview: Ad hocism, poor planning and illogical selection policy leave Australia with little chance


Remember that holiday you took in Goa last year?

The one where you booked your tickets over a year in advance but were too lazy to do a proper research? You chose what you thought was a good hotel package but when you arrived, the rooms were smaller than you were promised. The walk to the beach was a block too far and the hotel bar was overpriced.

Australia's Steven Smith during a T20 International against South Africa at the Wanderers on 6 March. AFP

Australia's Steven Smith during a T20 International against South Africa at the Wanderers on 6 March. AFP

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 not a vacation you will ever tell the grand kids about.

It was half melted ice-cream. Sure, it was still ice-cream but the ice-cream experience was missing.

This is how the Australians may feel after the ICC World Twenty20 in India. They are a confused and curious bunch when it come the shortest version of the game.

Australia have the ability to create the Big Bash and turn it into a roaring success. Yet until last week, the 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.

Just one.

He is also in an environment where chatter suggests his place in the side may be at risk. Strange. None of the Australian selectors have ever played a T20 International. 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 their 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 Nathan 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 have 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-six looks like.

In the recent series, we saw David Warner drop down to No. 4. This was in an effort to allow Shane Watson to open the batting with either Aaron Finch or Usman 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, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell?

Is that followed by Mitch Marsh, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Peter Neville and Josh Hazlewood?

Does that seem one batsman heavy? Perhaps an all rounder heavy?

It is clearly a spinner short. Are Australia really only going to play one legitimate strike bowler?

Australia are 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 winners will celebrate like it is one.

So why haven’t Australia prepared like it is one?

At the end of this tournament, Australia will board a plane and head back home. But Australia are unlikely to bring silverware with them.

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. Australia haven't planned correctly, they haven't selected well and the whole campaign is extremely ad hoc.

First Published On : Mar 12, 2016 10:21 IST

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