Australia is looking to make a key change in its T20 squad line-up amidst its dwindled fortunes in the playing format. It’s being speculated that Aaron Finch, who’d been handling the captaincy responsibility since 2014 is likely to be replaced by Steven Smith. Smith’s the current captain of the Aussie tests and ODI teams.
The inference drawn about this potential decision is two-fold. One that Finch, who’d suffered an injury to his hamstring during the second T20 against India, could miss the World T20; and second that passing the responsibility to Smith would bring about a better conformity to the Australian prospects. In addition to these two aspects, the fact that Shane Watson was able to play more aggressively opening the Australian batting innings in the final T20, in which he’d also stood-in as the skipper for the injured Finch has also left Finch’s position in the squad vulnerable.
The World T20, which is scheduled to be held in March in India, is the only event that the Australians haven’t won in its almost eight-year long existence. A huge problem grappling Australian cricket is the limited nature of T20 tournaments played internationally despite having an immensely popular league-based T20 event – the Big Bash League.
The team’s beleaguered performance in the format was compounded by its recent 3-0 whitewash at home at India’s hands. Following the tournament, while India rose to the top of the ICC team rankings for T20s, Australia dropped down to the eighth place, below seventh placed Pakistan and above ninth ranked Afghanistan. The one-sided nature of the result in their home series against India also dented Australia’s chances as one of the favourite teams going into the World T20.
It’s thus believed that Steven Smith taking over the captaincy would enable Australia to put up a better showing in the playing format in the days ahead.