World Cup

Asian challenge awaits the Aussies

Peter Nevill. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar  

With its survival at stake, Australia is saddled with the enormous task of taking on two Asian giants, Pakistan and India, in their ‘home’ conditions over the next five days in the World T20.

For Australia, a five-time World Champion in the ODI format, but yet to win a World T20 title, it is time to set the record straight in the shortest form.

After having lost to New Zealand in its tournament opener and managing a hard-fought win over Bangladesh, Australia has managed just two points from as many matches. For a team packed with some fine batsmen and experienced allrounders, the results of the two matches must be far from comforting. Australian wicketkeeper Peter Nevill would not agree though, especially about the tense match against Bangladesh.

“I won’t say it was too close for comfort, but probably would have liked to be more clinical than we were with the run chase the other night,” said Nevill following the Aussies’ optional practice session at the PCA Stadium here on Wednesday.

Australia, which meets Pakistan on Friday and India on Sunday, is aware of the challenges it may face over the weekend. “They are both tough. I certainly have compared them.

“There will be different challenges of playing against the two teams. They have different strengths,” said Nevill.

The Aussies must have done their maths to prepare themselves for the worst case scenario where the net run-rate can dictate terms. The simplest solution for Australia is to win both the matches. But it is simpler said than done. It has not played against Pakistan in recent times and lost a home series to India 3-0 recently.

“I would imagine we would just want to win this match and the next match against India,” said Nevill.

“If you drop one of these games, then obviously we are relying on other results going our way. We would rather not be in that position. The game against Pakistan is a must-win for us,” he added pragmatically.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 3:13:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/Asian-challenge-awaits-the-Aussies/article14171361.ece

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