A wounded Australia can be dangerous opposition!
I don’t want to pour cold water on India’s magnificent Twenty20 World Championship final win but I will issue a warning — beware the wounded Aussies. That Australia failed to even make the final of the T20 in Johannesburg will have stirred a huge fire in the belly of the team.
To come away from a world title fight empty-handed is simply not their style. This Australian team will be hurting. And I have seen enough Australian dressing rooms to know how dangerous that can be for an opposing side.
While Adam Gilchrist’s men know how lethal India can be on home soil, they will be determined to win this latest series, starting in Bangalore on Saturday, for a couple of very good reasons.
Firstly, the Australians want to reassert themselves as world champions in limited overs cricket — they reckon that’s where they belong. Even though he is out for at least the first two games, Ricky Ponting doesn’t want India arriving in Australia with bragging rights.
India are understandably chuffed that they can win a world title with some of its biggest names missing. But therein lies the point I am trying to make with the Australia team, which will be missing key players.
We have said for a couple of seasons now that the depth in Australian cricket appears outstanding and Gilchrist is entitled to have faith in his young brigade.
The emergence of Stuart Clark, the maturity of Brett Lee the emergence of Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson gives Australia a frightening pace attack. Throw in all-rounder Andrew Symonds and you have something to be really terrified of.
Just as bowlers around the world were starting to breathe easy at the retirement of Justin Langer, along come Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers. They’ve had to wait their turn and are now ready to cause havoc.
It’s a little early to blame Twenty20 cricket for their bad luck but maybe the authorities should consider more spacing between games in this frantic and embryonic form of the game.