The fast-moving pace of international cricket gives no time for players to think about past laurels, especially Australia’s. Just a few weeks back, Tim Paine’s men registered a famous 2-0 victory against Sri Lanka, ending their worst International run.
However, the focus now shifts to the much-awaited limited-overs series which will get underway at the Visakhapatnam on Sunday as Australia will lock horns against India in the first of the two T20Is. The series serves both teams a platform for experimentation before the start of the World Cup, which is less than four months away.
This makes the series important for both nations in more ways than one as they will look to answer a few pivotal questions which could eventually help them to get their hands on the coveted trophy in England.
Australia's last ODI assignment against Sri Lanka may have answered a few questions, but as a team, there are still a few more left which they will look to find in their second last assignment before the World Cup. With this, here are five areas of improvement for Aaron Finch-led Australian team.
1. Learn to play in the absence of big players
The Australian team hasn’t been as consistent as one expects them to be in the limited overs circuit. The five-time World cup team hasn’t been able to show the same run in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, who is currently serving their one-year ban.
Going ahead, Australia is only left with two bilateral series before the World Cup; this means, the upcoming series against India will be an opportunity for men-in-yellow to show what they are capable of as a ‘team’.
2. Opening Conundrum
In the last limited-overs series against India, Australia’s middle order was exposed in almost every game. Both Aaron Finch and Alex Carey haven’t been able to give the start which the team management was expecting.
In lieu of this, the team was too much dependent on the middle order to score the most amounts of runs and get them to a respectable total. In the upcoming series against the same nation, the duo will look to put the past performances to rest and start fresh.
3. Heavy Rotation of Players
Post Steve Smith and David Warner’s suspension, the team management, and national selectors have heavily rotated the players. It has been seen that if a player performs extensively well in the domestic circuit, the team management has shown faith immediately.
However, on the other side, if a player doesn’t do as per the set standards have been ousted of the series. This scenario has led to more complexity and insecurity in the team. It will be important for the team management to regroup and continue their faith in players till the forthcoming World cup.
4. Absence of specialist white-ball spinner
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that when it comes to white ball cricket, Australian team lacks a specialist white-ball spinner in their lineup. Adam Zampa, who has been the most successful spinner in the current limited-overs circuit for them, hasn’t got as many opportunities as one expects one to get.
The team management has time and again gone with Nathan Lyon’s Test experience in the ODI arena as well, and the results are known to every cricket fan. This remains to be seen if the upcoming series against India will be any different.
5. Limited Overs Run
The Australian team last won ODI series against Pakistan in 2016-17, which was almost three years back. The statistics rightly suggests the current run of this series which is nothing short of humiliating.
Going forward, Australia needs to be at their best if at all they dream to get their hands on the coveted title in England.