Australia look to test their T20 limits at Commonwealth Games and World Cup dual bid
Australia will look to push their limits in the T20 game with the format dominating the schedule over the next eight months, starting with the historic Commonwealth Games appearance in late July and then progressing to defending their World Cup T20 in South Africa in February. 2023.
The team, under a new interim head coach Shelley Nitschke following Matthew Mott’s departure for the men’s white ball position in England, hit the road again next week when they travel to Ireland for a tri-series involving the hosts and Pakistan which will prepare for the Games in Birmingham.
Although there have been significant changes to the coaching staff – Ben Sawyer has also become New Zealand manager – the squad remains the same as those who won the ODI World Cup in New Zealand. -Zealand. Australia’s dominating performances in this competition, where they went unbeaten and crowned by scoring 356 out of 5 goals in the final against England, was another example of how they pushed themselves to new levels and that’s something she wants to continue.
“We certainly talked about it”, allrounder Ashleigh Gardner says ESPNcricinfo. “We haven’t really come to any conclusions on the total we’re looking at, but I think 160 in most games five or six years ago would win you pretty much every game, where now because the women’s game has grown so much, 160 is a good total but it’s also huntable.
“I think we’re probably looking at that as a minimum, so if we try to push the boat to 180 and be very clear about how we want to chase those totals as well. With the team that we have, we’re really confident of being able to set any type of score and chase any.”
As of January 2018, Australia have an average scoring rate of 8.37 when striking first in the T20I (which for 20 full overs would equal 167) while their overall figure is 7.90 runs per over . They scored 226 twice in that period (against England and Sri Lanka) and in the last T20 World Cup final they made it 184 for 4 against India, but maybe all equally significant was their pursuit in the first Ashes T20I against England in January when they hunted down 170 with three overs to spare.
“It’s something that we’ve talked about as a group and also within our skill groups, in terms of how can we improve a bit and push the boundaries a bit more than we’ve done in the past”, captain Meg Lanning said. “We have a few things that we have worked on both as a team and individually.
“It’s going to look and feel slightly different with Shell in charge as opposed to Motty. But both [have] a similar message in terms of how we want to play the game, take the game, we definitely want to go out there and be aggressive and play with a lot of freedom.”
On a personal level, Gardner is looking to adapt his game to the big challenges ahead, namely two T20 awards and the need to rejuvenate the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL after missing the final for the past three seasons.
“In the Australian setup, it’s more like an enforcement role, whether it’s late in the innings, or opening the game, or putting the icing on it,” she said. “The way I execute it in every game will be different depending on the situation, but it’s just about having a really clear and simple mindset in those roles. They’re quite difficult sometimes because people get confused. expect a lot of you to mark boundaries as soon as you get there.”
The team had two training camps in Brisbane before heading overseas, which provided an opportunity for everyone to settle under Nitschke’s watch. A permanent appointment will not be made until later in the year although she remains the favourite.
“I know the type of people who are likely to apply for the job. A lot of coaches would want to be associated with our team because of our success and the players there,” Gardner said. “Shell is also a great candidate, I’m really excited for her in this next little period, just being able to be the head coach without any real pressure from these job interviews and things like that. Hopefully we we can put on some good cricket displays for her and show what kind of manager she is.”
And there’s the chance for a bit of history. “I say [the Commonwealth Games] is not something that anyone thought they would probably ever be involved in,” she said. “It’s going to be a pretty cool experience to go out there and be part of the team at Australia, and it will not just be the world of cricket, but the whole sporting nation.”