Brett Lee: It’s not all doom and gloom for Australia’s T20 World Cup
Brett Lee believes Australia can bounce back from a chastening defeat to England and challenge for the trophy.
The heavy defeat has left Australia outside of the top two because of the net run rate hit they took, which means that Aaron Finch’s side needs to hope that South Africa slip up in their final match of the Super 12s.
Australia will also need to beat Bangladesh and the West Indies to pressure the Proteas heading into their climactic match against England.
Australia will be comforted by the belief that England should beat South Africa on current form.
“England were outstanding against Australia in their much-anticipated encounter of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021,” Lee wrote for the ICC.
“The 50-over World champions were just too good in the end, it’s as simple as that. Parts of the game were outstanding for Australia but in other parts they probably let themselves down.
“We all know that when playing a T20 match, you’ve only got 20 overs to nail it. 50-over cricket, you can play catch up, Test match cricket you’ve got days, and it’s like a game of chess, but in T20 cricket, if you slip up for an over or two, it can cost you the whole game.
“Jos Buttler hit 71 off 32 balls and some of the shots he played off the Australian quicks – these are world class bowlers, but he was treating them like he was having a net session.”
Lee insists Australia must learn from their mistakes but cannot dwell on defeat.
“When you’re on, you’re on, and you’ve got to use your form and embrace the fact that there will be days when it all comes off. I don’t think Buttler can bat any better than that; some of the shots I saw him play were world-class.
“Australia, on the other hand, were always on the back foot. David Warner missed out, Aaron Finch got 44, but he had no support through that middle period, and 125 is just not enough in T20 cricket.
“You always aim for that 150 benchmark, maybe 160. It’s different on these lower, slower wickets, but when you haven’t got that support and stability through that middle period, then it’s very, very hard for a bowler to defend 125.
“Now, it’s not all doom and gloom for Australia – I try and look at things from a positive point of view. There are a lot of people saying, ‘he shouldn’t be in the team’, ‘he shouldn’t be batting there’ and so on.
“But they say in Hindi, ‘aaram se, aaram se’, and that means to relax and go about things patiently. I think that’s a really good expression that the team can use just to relax. Everything will be okay.
“I know that there could be changes, they might look to shuffle the order, they might look to some different bowling options but sometimes you just get outplayed and England outplayed Australia.
“Australia have to move on, they have to understand that they’ve been walloped – that’s a fair assessment and if you ask any of the players they are pretty open and honest with each other, they were totally outplayed.
“On one hand you’ve got to say, ‘that’s sport, we lost’, but also you can’t paper over the cracks, you’ve got to think why did we lose? What could we do different? How can we attack the game?” Lee questioned.
Lee believes that the top order need to step up if Australia are to gain a semi-final spot.
“The top order has to fire, they have to get runs from guys like Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, who has been in good form the first two games but missed out with a duck against England and that’s part of the game.
“Matthew Wade has been getting a few runs, getting some starts but Australia need a big 40 or 50 from him to finish so there are areas where Australia can take some positives out.
“I know the Aussies want to get off to a flyer, I heard Warner say it, I heard it from Aaron Finch and they are two brilliant players, two guys I’d pick in my side every single day of the week.”
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