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Australia’s best XI for T20 World Cup

When no one gave the Australians a chance during the T20 World Cup last year, Aaron Finch and co thrived on the lack of pressure en route to winning the tournament. Less than 12 months after winning the tournament, the pressure is on the defending champs to go back-to-back on home soil. Australia has made just one change from their 2021 T20 World Cup squad, with Mitchell Swepson making way for Tim David.

Here is the 15-man Australian squad for this year’s T20 World Cup:

Aaron Finch (captain), Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia will be playing their five Super 12 games across five different venues – SCG, Perth Stadium, MCG, The Gabba and Adelaide Oval. With those venues in mind, here is what I think is Australia’s best XI for the 2022 ICC World T20:

David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch (captain), Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Compared to the XI that played for the majority of last year’s tournament, it’s just the one change for me with Tim David coming in for Steve Smith. Alongside this, I’ve gone with a slight change in the batting order.

I’m a huge believer that your best players in the format must bat in the top four of a T20. And Glenn Maxwell fits that bill perfectly. Maxwell has shown success as an opener in the BBL and in Australian colours in T20 internationals. Opposition bowling attacks have loved the fact that they’ve been able to start off their bowling innings against an out-of-form Aaron Finch.

Glenn Maxwell of Australia bats during game four of the T20 International Series between Australia and Sri Lanka at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 18, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

(Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

With Maxwell and Warner opening and Mitchell Marsh at number three, Australia can go hard at the powerplay with the bat and provide a great platform to scores of 200+.

With Finch at number four batting on wickets where there shouldn’t be much spin on offer during October, he can tee off in the middle overs and take advantage of the shorter boundaries across all the venues Australia will be playing in. Australia has opted for an all-guns blazing style with the bat in T20 cricket recently, which makes David playing over Smith more logical. Smith’s career T20 and T20I strike rate falls in the mid-120s.

Meanwhile, David has a SR of 158.52 in T20I matches and a SR of 163.17 across all T20s. Having performed across T20 leagues around the world, now is the time for David to make the T20 team for Australia. Even if he doesn’t perform as well as expected, David has earnt the right to make the Australian T20I lineup and get a long rope.

Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade have flourished in their finishing roles over the past year, so their inclusions are self-explanatory. The NSW trio and spinner make up Australia’s four-man main attack and are straight forward additions like Stoinis at six and Wade at seven.

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Overall, Australia has named a strong squad, with quality players on the bench ready for an opportunity should it arise. It is tough to predict if they will win, as T20 cricket is such a fickle format, especially during the knockout stages. However, I do expect Australia to at least qualify for the semis. From there on, it’s a matter of which team handles pressure best.

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