Looking at an unlikely situation where Australia is discounted as a pre-tournament favourite, its captain >Steve Smith said his country’s prospects are as bright as any other contender for the ICC World Twenty20 title.
Acknowledging the fact that Australia has slackened on the eagerness to adopt the latest format of cricket, compared to some other nations, Smith said that does not mean that his team lacks the skills to be the best in the tournament.
Read: >Aussie pacers ready to adapt and adjust
“I would not say that is the case. We have pretty packed schedules. We play a lot of cricket. Sometimes, you do not see a lot of Test and ODI players in this format. We certainly play a lot of T20 cricket. We know how to play the game and if we do to the best of our ability we will be a tough side to beat,” Smith said. The talk about the lack of seriousness emanated from the fifth position in the T20I rankings for Australia, which is the No. 1 in Test and ODI.
“It is the one trophy (T20 World Cup) that has eluded us. We want to win every tournament and series that we play in. There is certainly a lot of time and effort put together by Cricket Australia. We are in a good place and hopefully we can contribute and do well in this tournament,” Smith set the focus right.
Saying that the present squad is a good mix of talent, Smith hoped the players will be able to execute their skills. “We have got a good squad together. We know what to expect. It is about going out there and making sure we can execute our skills. If we do that well hopefully we will win a lot of other games,” he said.
The Australian captain took heart from the way his side outmanoeuvred the strong South Africans in the last match to win the recent bilateral series 2-1. “It is nice to score a few in the last game there and get the team home. I think it is the kind of win we needed. Hope we will be able take that form into the World T20,” Smith said.
Regularly playing Indian Premier League (IPL) will come handy in having a prior understanding of the conditions, said Smith. “The IPL has been great in the development of a lot of players from all around the world. The experience will hold us in good stead for this tournament. A lot of us know what to expect from the conditions from each ground and what it is like playing in front of great crowds,” the Australian captain said.
When asked about the relative inexperience of the spinners in the squad, Smith said it does not mean that they lack the skill in the art. “I don’t think our young spinners are a weakness for us at all. They bowled really well in big games. They are really confident and they are improving,” Smith said about leg-spinner Adam Zampa, left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, the three spin options in the squad.