Australia expecting significant spin threat in Super Eight


A trial by spin awaits Australia in the T20 World Cup 2024, with them looming as the odd team out in an otherwise all-Asian Super Eight group.

Having won their first three games, Mitchell Marsh’s side will progress to the next stage of the tournament whatever happens in Sunday’s clash with Scotland in St Lucia.

The main talking point of that match will be the impact it has on England – with an Australia loss enough to knock out the defending champions. But that aside, Australia’s path to a second T20 World Cup and the capture of all three current men’s ICC global titles is becoming much clearer.

Based on pre-tournament seedings, Australia will meet India and Afghanistan in their Super Eight group. Bangladesh are in the box seat to join them, after Nepal fell one run short of shocking South Africa on Saturday.

That trio will make for a significant challenge against an Australia team who have traditionally had difficulties on spinning wickets.

“A lot of us have prepared for plenty of spin depending on what venue you get to,” Australia’s vice-captain Matthew Wade said. “Guys have been preparing for that through the world, through IPL into the start of this World Cup.

“We expect nothing different, and on their day they’re all going to be very very hard teams to beat. We’re expecting them to hit us with a fair bit of spin over the next little bit.”

India have so far relied more on their quicks for their matches in the USA, but have Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav at their disposal for the slower Caribbean pitches.

Afghanistan can call on Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmed and Mohammad Nabi, although have lost Mujeeb Ur Rahman to injury, while Bangladesh will also fancy their spinners as the wickets grow tired. Legspinner Rishad Hossain, who Australia have not faced before, has impressed with seven wickets in three matches.

Meanwhile, Wade added he hoped this tournament would not signal his farewell for Australia. He was expected to retire after the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups, but at 36 has continued to be a threat for Australia batting at No. 7.

“I’m at my best when it’s the last opportunity,” Wade said. “Hopefully I can pull some good stuff out in the next little bit, but it will be the same conversation at the end of this one. There are going to be players go out of this team. I’m more than comfortable if I’m one of them to get the next cycle of players coming in to play for Australia.”

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