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The Australian T20I Side - What Does Our Best Team Actually Look Like?

Our T20 squad has not had this much depth in some time. Losing 2-1 in India in coin flip games with a lot of our best players out is an incredibly impressive effort and we look primed to retain the World Cup on home soil however, our best 11 is under serious question. Yes, the squad has already been picked but I believe that we can do better.

The Top Order (1-4)

David Warner and Cameron Green pick themselves at this point. Warner is still in strong form with the white ball and Cameron Green is now a three format player. As much as I love Finch, he is beyond past it. Mitchell Marsh is a terrific White Ball player, especially in the T20I format and batting at 3 gives him the biggest chance to make runs. He or Warner would captain the squad. Glenn Maxwell is not in great form but his struggles are more recent compared to Finch, plus he provides excellent value in both the field and with the ball as a back-up bowler.

The Middle Order (5-7)

The middle order is focused on players that make a living at the domestic scene batting in the middle order who can score quickly. Tim David fits that bill to a tee at number 5 and his start to his international career has been more than impressive. He hits it hard and he scores fast. Matthew Wade is still in top form batting at 6 heading into his send off series. He is good enough with the gloves and plays his role perfectly. This is the most left field selection in the squad. I considered many for this role but I ended up picking Jordan Silk. His last BBL season was not that strong, only averaging 22 at a strike rate of 121 but his previous season was excellent, averaging 38 at 145. He plays a tough role having to go from ball one and does it very well. I believe we get enough bowling from Green, Marsh and Maxwell not not warrant picking 5 bowlers and Silk seems the most logical selection, albeit left field. He is also the best catch in world cricket.

The Bowlers (8-11)

I went for the 2 spinner, 2 pace make-up. I am a big believer in picking your best bowlers and I believe that these four are our best bowlers. Ashton Agar bats 8 as he can hold a stick. He does turn it the same way as Zampa but bowls differently with less top spin but more line and length. A perfect bowler to tie down an end after a powerplay. Zampa has been our star bowler in this format for some time and he will prove to be a valuable player in our title defence. Our first pacer picked is Josh Hazlewood which is a crazy thing to say. 3 years ago, who would have thought that Hazlewood out of our big 3 would be our best T20 bowler but here we are. He keeps it simple, he is tall, bowls great areas and swings it out which always works well. I elected for Jhye Richardson as our second, just edging out Behrendorff for that spot. He is quick and bowls serious outswing. He does lack variation but he looked good in the BBL when he did play bar one game.

The Reserves

The 5 leftovers which would make my squad of 16 are as follows. Ben McDermott seems to be the most logical back up batter plus he can keep. He has performed well for Australia in the past and very strongly in the domestic set-up. He averaged 48 with a strike rate of 154. Insane and he had the opening spot until Green's recent run of form. Marcus Stoinis is out of form, hence leaving the best 11 but he provides value with ball and can hit a hard ball. Sean Abbott was also in the squad until Cam Green had form. He the 12th man and is still a toss up for the Jordan Silk spot. While he is not the batter or fielder, he is no slouch at all in those areas and is a terrific short format bowler. The two pace reserves are Behrendorff and Kane Richardson. Behrendorff is the first cab off the rank. He swings it in to the right hander, bowls with serious height and is a tremendous domestic bowler. He is the left arm seamer that should be in the squad. Kane Richardson is a terrific T20 bowler at the domestic level and as a reserve when called upon. A valuable squad member.

The Omissions

As mentioned earlier, it is sad Finch will not get a send off series but his form is not good enough to warrant one. Khawaja is good in this format but feel our current openers are better. Steve Smith is simply not a good enough T20 player. He does not play the format enough and we have others that are superior. Josh Inglis was the last player I cut (17th member if you will), I basically figured that McDermott and Wade provide enough value as keepers while some of the others provide enough value with the bat. Carey also is probably our 4th or 5th choice T20 keeper, as does Philippe. Travis Head and Marnus are inferior to others in this format but do provide value with their bowling. D'Arcy Short is a little past it at this stage. Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques, Alex Ross & Jono Wells had loose consideration for this squad but elected for other left field positions. Dan Christian is a match winner but his batting does not appear to be up to it at international format anymore. Hayden Kerr had an unreal season and provides value with bat and ball but felt Abbott was the better option. Same can be written for Daniel Sams. Nathan Ellis is also in that discussion. Pat Cummins cannot be selected at this format. He was dropped by his IPL team and consistently gets hit for 10+ an over. He does not play enough T20 cricket to be selected. The same can be said for Mitchell Starc, while he is better in the limited over format than Cummins, he does not play enough T20 cricket and when he does, he can be expensive. Ben Dwarshuis and Gurinder Sandhu were both left field options but others are ahead. AJ Tye loves this format but just misses the squad and Meredith provides serious speed but I have a few others ahead of him. Swepson is probably our 3rd choice spinner but Sangha is younger and has larger potential. Coulter-Nile is the last bowler I want to discuss. Last season he had a great BBL but has a big injury history but he is a gun bowler.

Best XI plus a reserve 5 (and a bonus 2nd XI of the others who missed the squad)

1. David Warner

2. Cameron Green

3. Mitchell Marsh

4. Glenn Maxwell

5. Tim David

6. Matthew Wade

7. Jordan Silk

8. Ashton Agar

9. Jhye Richardson

10. Josh Hazlewood

11. Adam Zampa

- Ben McDermott

- Marcus Stoinis

- Sean Abbott

- Jason Behrendorff

- Kane Richardson

1. Usman Khawaja

2. Aaron Finch

3. Steve Smith

4. Josh Inglis

5. Moises Henriques

6. Alex Ross

7. Hayden Kerr

8. Daniel Sams

9. Mitchell Starc

10. Mitchell Swepson

11. Riley Meredith (NCN very close)

The Squad of 15 the Selectors went with (which Green will likely be added to)

- Aaron Finch

- David Warner - Steve Smith

- Tim David

- Josh Inglis

- Matthew Wade

- Glenn Maxwell

- Mitchell Marsh

- Marcus Stoinis

- Ashton Agar

- Adam Zampa

- Pat Cummins

- Mitchell Starc

- Josh Hazlewood

- Kane Richardson

I think we did better.

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