Sat, 03 Dec 2022

Sydney [Australia], October 6 (ANI): Australia may not field their best playing eleven till the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, as the defending champions have their eyes set on the business end of this tournament.

Skipper Aaron Finch has suggested that his stay at number four could be a short one despite him playing a match-winning knock in a thrilling first T20I against West Indies on Wednesday.

The bowling mix also looks set for a change, with pacer Pat Cummins flagging changes to the squad ahead of the second T20I against West Indies on Friday.

Australia's two seam all-rounders are also recovering from their injuries. Mitchell Marsh, who had suffered an ankle injury is only available as a batter while Marcus Stoinis will not play till Australia's series opener against England in Perth on Sunday.

"We are really clear that we have got a World Cup to win and that is what we have got to peak for," cricket.com.au quoted Cummins as saying, who said that he will not be playing all six World Cup lead-in games against Windies, England and India.

"There is no point burning out for these games, being over in India for three games (last month) as well. You might see some people having a rest, some different roles to make sure we give ourselves the best chance not only for the start of the tournament, but also the back end if we are there," added Cummins.

Finch said that he moved to the middle order in order to add some experience to the middle order that would have otherwise featured youngsters Cameron Green and Tim David.

Steve Smith was dumped, suggesting that David is more likely to feature as a starter in the tournament. The decision to send Finch to middle-order was also aided by Green's form, who struck two half-centuries against India in the recently concluded T20I series.

"I really enjoy batting in the middle order," said Finch. His strike rate goes above 150 while batting at four or below in T20Is and his average sits at 200 after staying unbeaten in five out of six innings at these spots.

"We felt as though with 'Greeny' batting well at the top of the order, that we might be a bit light on for experience at international level in that No.5 and 6 if we had David and Greeny together there. We will probably swap it around the next game and keep trying a few things.""We are going to keep tinkering with things, just to try and make sure we have got all bases covered for the World Cup," Finch concluded.

Green's form continues making a strong case for himself for a World Cup berth, not only with his red-hot form but also with question marks on fitness of Marsh, Stoinis and Ashton Agar.

Though Green could score only 14 off 10 in series opener against Windies, his bowling proved to be extremely helpful on a testing surface and he also took a wicket of Raymon Reifer. Just like he did in Tests, Green proved to be an effective fourth prong among big three pacers (Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood).

Cummins said that having four quick bowlers is beneficial since World Cup venues have big square boundaries and have bounce.

"He hasn't bowled a lot in T20s so I think he will just keep getting better and better," Cummins said on Green.

Australia's T20 World Cup squad: Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Tim David, Aaron Finch (c), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. (ANI)

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