After the highs of winning the Ashes 5-0 and the hard-fought series win against South Africa, Australia have hit rock-bottom with a winless performance in the ICC World T20 2014 so far. Although they still have a match against Bangladesh left, it will be of no consequence since they have lost all of their three group games so far, against Pakistan, West Indies and India. Here’s a look at reasons why Australia have failed to make an impact in the series.
Opening woes: The talented Aussie openers have had an extremely poor time, which has put the team under pressure early on in every game. David Warner, of whom so much was expected, failed to come up with a single score of note. He was dismissed for 4 against Pakistan and managed 20 and 19 against West Indies and India respectively. Aaron Finch, on the other hand, began the series with a 54-ball 65 in a losing cause against Pakistan, but managed only 16 against West Indies and 6 against India.
Below par Watson: As always, for Australia to make a serious impact, they needed a strong performance from their talisman all-rounder. But, not for the first time, the burly Watson failed to live up to the expectations. He was most disappointing with both bat and ball. Against Pakistan, he conceded 38 for 1 and scored only 4. He was clueless against Sunil Narine in the match against West Indies, and was stumped for 2. He did not pick up a wicket either. Against India, Watson had figures of 1 for 36, and was bowled for 1. The numbers tell a story itself, and neither Australia nor Watson would be too pleased with the effort.
No support for Glenn Maxwell: While the top order floundered, there was nothing much in the form for performance from the middle and lower order as well, with the exception of the big-hitting Maxwell. When Maxwell struck 74 from 33 against Pakistan, it seemed they would cruise to win. However, Bailey, Hodge and Haddin managed only 14 runs among themselves as Australia collapsed, ironically against Pakistan. Maxwell made 45 from 22 against West Indies, Bailey failed again with 12 while Faulkner made 13. Maxwell was top scorer against India as well, but this time he made only 23. Bailey, Hodge and Haddin disappointed again with 8, 13 and 6 respectively.
Disappointing bowling overall: Like their batsmen, even their bowlers did not have much to show for their efforts. Starc went for 1 for 35 against Pakistan even as Brad Hogg was slammed for 29 in 3. Against West Indies, Starc claimed two but was smashed for 50 runs. Bollinger went for 34 while picking up only 1 wicket while Maxwell was smashed for 28 in three overs. In the match against India, Starc was taken for 36 in his four overs while James Muirhead conceded 24 runs in two overs. Both claimed a wicket each, but were far from penetrative, all only adding up to Australia’s woes.
--By A Cricket Analyst