Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Australians could be the surprise underdog in this years T20. Not that the Australians are ever labeled as the underdogs in any tournament but a quick look at their team formation and we can see that they are not the favourites that they are always so used to. First of all they have not found a potent opening combination since the departure of Hayden and Gilchrist. Although they have found some respite in Haddin and Clarke. But both are essentially middle-order specialists whom I doubt would be as successful as their previous kings. Haddin is essentially a straight down the ground hitter who is good in clearing the in-field during the power-plays.Clarke will essentially play the anchor role with others. Then comes their real strength their explosive middle order, here is where the tournament will be won and lost for them. They have classy Ponting to begin with,followed by the explosive Andrew Symonds who is already looking in ominous form during the recent IPL. They have the Hussey brothers who can manuoevere and use the handle to good effect.Then comes their selection dilemma between Watson and Hopes.Both are equally destructive and chances are that both of them will be played at the cost of mostly David Hussey,the Victorian bomber. Then comes their bowling line-up which is mostly uni-dimensional and pace oriented. Except for Bracken all the others are fast and furious who can hit the deck hard without too much lateral movement ,which could be a case of not exploiting the English conditions to the full. Lee has struggled on the English pitches because of his failure to use the Kookaburra balls. Moreover Johnson would be their only potent attack,who too is relatively inexperienced. The major problem that Australia faces in the bowling department is absence of a quality spinner. This could be a chink in their armour as far as I am concerned. As we have seen that spinners even part-timers have an important role to play in this format. Last year when Yuvraj went on a rampage against them in the semi-finals the absence of a quality spinner hurt them, as Yuvraj was pulling their hit-the-deck hard kind of bowlers over midwicket with relative ease.
Although the Australians do seem to be an underdog, but in T20 format it is not bad to have that tag, because as we have seen from our past experiences that it’s the cup of the underdogs.Hence this could be a blessing in disguise for Ponting and his men who would be in real pressure situation this time around, because the Australians don’t like their trophy section to seem empty.