The 2016 ICC World T20 was just another disappointing outing for the Australians. The Kangaroos, despite winning the World Cup on five occasions, have failed colossally to meet the expectations in the shortest format. Their best team performance came in the 2010 ICC World T20, where they finished as the runners-up and second to England. As a whole, their T20 journey has been simply disappointing.
This time around, though more than anything else, it was the schedule which was blamed by the Australians. Just before the World T20, the Australians played an ODI and a test series in New Zealand, where the conditions were poles apart as compared to India. In order to warm themselves up to the task of the World T20, the Australians played a 3 match T20I series against South Africa. But again, those games were played in conditions absolutely opposite to the conditions in India.
Once the World T20 commenced, the Australians were found wanting and clueless. The loss against New Zealand at Dharamsala, where they failed to chase down a small total hurt their cause terribly. The loss against India ended their disappointing campaign, where they won only against Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Former skipper Steve Waugh feels that the Kangaroos need to play more T20I’s and need not be too focused on test matches alone. “Australia probably haven’t played enough T20 cricket in the past 12-18 months and we swapped the team about a fair bit,” he said.”To Cricket Australia’s credit, we have put Test cricket on a pedestal, we’ve put that above all else, which I think is a great thing for cricket. Not many other countries are doing that. “The downside to that was that the T20 side suffered from players in and out and they didn’t get a consistent role on the side. They just fell short in India.”
Waugh also added that players needed some time off as there was nonstop cricketing action in the modern day game. “I bumped into Steve Smith in India and he said playing three forms of cricket means you’re away for 280 days a year, which is a lot for your family and it is more intense these days,” he said. “We were away for the same amount of time,for instance, the tour of the UK for an Ashes tour was four-and-a-half months, these days it is two-and-a-half months, so they squeeze in a lot more high-level, intensity cricket. “So it is hard to the players physically, I guess mentally and technically. It is a real challenge. I think the guys playing all three formats is probably too much but I still think we need to find a way for the T20 side to fulfill their potential and we can be the top of all three forms of the game.”