Oman captain Aqib Ilyas. Photo- ICC
Oman captain Aqib Ilyas. Photo- ICC

Oman captain Aqib Ilyas has hinted that his team can cause difficulty for Australia when the two teams meet on Wednesday at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, in Group B of the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Oman’s campaign began on Sunday with a Super Over loss to Namibia at the same venue. Australia will be playing their first match against Oman, having never faced them in international cricket. Ilyas is confident that Oman’s spinner can dominate the Australia batters and their obsession with six-hitting.

“You see the last match, how the ball was turning and staying low. (Australia) used to have a few players with good techniques in the past like Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, but I don’t think they have many now. They look to hit big. They only try to go for sixes. If we get the same wicket (as the one against Namibia), maybe it could be a problem for them.

“On a slower track with good-quality spinners, the only thing we need to do is play with a big heart and put the ball in the right areas, because the ball doesn’t know how big (a reputation) the batter (has). If it turns a bit or it stays low, the batter is in trouble,” Ilyas told reporters.

This will be the first time in T20I cricket or international cricket for that matter.

“The boys are really pumped up” – Oman captain on facing Australia

Australia and Oman go head to head in ICC T20 World Cup 2023 match 10. The match starts at 6 am IST on June 6. Oman skipper Aqib Ilyas, buoyed by his side’s success in the opening game against Namibia, has urged his team not to be intimidated by Australian stars on the opposing squad sheet when they face them in the present ICC T20 World Cup in Barbados.

Aqib Ilyas said that the Oman players were full of confidence and pumped up at the prospect of facing the multi-format world champions Australia for the first time.

“The boys are really pumped up. We don’t have much to lose. Every time there is a World Cup, there is an upset … anything can happen. We respect (Australia) a lot as a team … but before the game, it’s important to not get overawed by them.

“After the game, of course, there are great players on their side and we can learn a lot from them. But maybe even they might be able to learn something from us. Once you step into the field, there is no big name, there is no one bigger than you in the field. It’s another game for us and we don’t think that we are going to play someone extraordinary,” he added.

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