Australia could consider playing one extra batter during T20 WC, keeping high-scoring IPL in mind

Melbourne [Australia], May 21 : Speaking on the trend of high-scoring matches in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), ...

By ANI | Published: May 21, 2024 02:51 PM2024-05-21T14:51:28+5:302024-05-21T14:55:03+5:30

Australia could consider playing one extra batter during T20 WC, keeping high-scoring IPL in mind | Australia could consider playing one extra batter during T20 WC, keeping high-scoring IPL in mind

Australia could consider playing one extra batter during T20 WC, keeping high-scoring IPL in mind


Melbourne [Australia], May 21 : Speaking on the trend of high-scoring matches in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), Australian head coach Andrew McDonald said on Tuesday that the team would consider playing an extra batter to stretch the totals to around 240-plus runs during the ICC T20 World Cup, starting from June 1 in West Indies and USA.

Australia is a part of the Group B along with arch-rivals England, Namibia, Scotland and Oman. Australia will be kickstarting their campaign against Oman on June 5 in Barbados.

Coach McDonald is anticipating more bowler-friendly conditions in the Caribbean, but acknowledges that "anything is possible" in right circumstances. The team is a batting-heavy one, with Cameron Green capable of batting at number eight as an all-rounder. Also in reserves, young batting sensation Jake Fraser McGurk and all-rounder Matthew Short provide more batting options.

"The recent trend of the IPL, you have got to take that into the equation," McDonald told

"Is that trend going to be real and sustainable? Are you going to need to post 240-plus to win a game? If that is the case, there is no doubt that there would be a discussion around playing an extra batter to make sure you are capable of stretching totals out to 240-plus, which is what we have seen in the IPL," he added.

At the end of the league stage, the overall run-rate in the league stands at a massive 9.57 per over. It has left many wondering if the current season will mark a paradigm shift in the way T20s are played. Last year's Pakistan Super League (PSL) and The Hundred competition in the UK has also witnessed run-rates of over nine per over, which only makes this trend more long and consistent.

Australia could just be playing three specialist bowlers and fill up rest of the space with dynamic all-rounders like Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Green to strengthen their batting line-up and have them go at bowlers from ball one.

But McDonald is wary of pre-tournament hype around these massive totals, saying that the pressure of playing a World Cup will reduce these totals.

"We are seeing over a period of time that when the pressure comes on in World Cups, the totals can be a little bit lower," he said.

"We have had that in 50-over cricket where people were talking about 400-plus (scores) being the new normal, and you get to World Cups and it feels as though things recalibrate under that extreme pressure."

"We have just got to work out what the trend is that we want to dictate as well. It is not about reacting to what others are doing. We have got the capabilities of playing eight batters, and if we feel like that potentially can be the best way of defeating an opponent on the surface that is in front of you, then yeah, we will go down that path," he concluded his point.

The numbers during the ICC events definitely back McDonald's words that scores could be lower under pressure. The highest run rate during a T20 World Cup was back in 2007, during the inaugural edition in South Africa (at 7.92). The recent tournaments held in UAE during 2021 and 2022 in Australia have lower run rates comparatively, with 7.40 and 7.46 respectively. The last T20 WC held in the Caribbean back in 2010 also had a run rate of 7.49.

Also, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) recent seasons have been very low-scoring, suggesting that conditions would be much more bowler-friendly.

"I think that it will slow down a little bit, but if you get a small ground with some good surfaces, anything's possible with the way batting units go about it," said McDonald.

"If they start to become slower and lower, and start to spin a little bit more, the totals will come down and there is going to be a different way of conjuring up the runs you need to win. We feel as though we have got that flexibility."

"If you look at the CPL ... that's one of the lowest scoring tournaments domestically around the world, and that includes the West Indian players playing in that competition who are some of the best power hitters in the game," he concluded his point.

The inclusion of spin bowling all-rounder Ashton Agar gives the team flexibility to make sure that more than half of the overs they bowl are by spinners, which also includes Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell. During the tournament, Australia will have to take care of the lower-ranking sides and their clash against England will end up counting for nothing if they win against other lower-ranked teams. If they make it to the finals, they will be playing five games in a matter of 10 days on five different islands. McDonald acknowledged that the match against England will give them a great idea of where they are and the real tournament for them will start from the Super Eight stage.

"It definitely speeds up when you get through to the Super Eights," said McDonald.

"First and foremost, you have got to navigate through that first part of the tournament. We have seen some upsets (in the past) along the way. We will be looking to implement what we feel as though will be the style of play that can win a World Cup. That will be our goal to get everyone up and running in those games."

"There is no doubt that England will give us a good yardstick of where we are at, being one of the competition favourites."

"The interesting fact is also that none of the net run-rate or points (count) in that next phase, so it really is a case of just getting through that (group stage) - and then your tournament starts after that," he concluded.

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