Australia marches into Bangladesh with its heavy artillery, hopeful that it won’t lose its way in the spin-bowling mire that undid its last ICC World Twenty20 campaign.Batting might
On paper, Australia’s batting might is frightening.
There is the opening pair of David Warner, who approaches cricket — and much else, it seems — as if it was boxing, and Aaron Finch, who scored the only international T20 century of 2013, a 63-ball 156 against England.
Shane Watson, a player with T20 credentials as robust as his forearms, and Glenn Maxwell, an easy, powerful striker of the ball, feature. So do George Bailey, the captain, who averaged a run-a-ball 64 over 25 ODIs last year, and the extraordinary Brad Hodge, with more career runs in T20 cricket than anyone else. So, as Australia approaches its opening fixture against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium here on Sunday, the mood will be anything but glum. Things were much the same in Sri Lanka two years ago, when Australia had gone about shredding opponents with its top-order batsmen, until Pakistan’s spinners trussed them up in the last group game.Slow bowlers
Pakistan has no shortage of bothersome slow bowlers, and its approach on Sunday is likely to revolve around them. The all-rounder James Faulkner is unavailable due to injury; the 20-year-old leg-spinner James Muirhead could play a part.
The seven-wicket defeat to India on Friday leaves Pakistan little wriggle room in Group 2 if it has hopes of progressing to the semifinals.
“This match is very important to us if we have to stay in the tournament,” coach Moin Khan said. “But looking at this format, I don’t think any team will reach the final without losing a single game. It’s a hard format. For any team to put in three (sic) consistent performances is a hard task.” Having played here once, though, Pakistan has experience of the conditions that Bailey’s lot doesn’t.