Australia - once the powerhouses in limited-overs cricket - have not been the same in recent times. While the Kangaroos have as many as 5 ODI World Cup titles to their name, they have none in the modern-day format of T20s. In the last six appearances in T20 World Cups, the Aussies have managed to reach the final only once in the 2010 edition, where they lost out to arch-rivals England.
With the 2021 edition set to take place in either India/UAE and many of the star Australian players available for the tournament, the big question is - Is it going to be Australia's year of glory? Aaron Finch's side would certainly want to believe that and will hope to break the deadlock and win the prestigious trophy.
With all the teams expected to be allowed to have a bigger squad in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, lets us have a look at the probable 17-member squad for Australia for the mega-event scheduled later this year.
Top Order - Aaron Finch, David Warner, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith
The Aussies will have one of the most destructive opening combinations in the tournament in the form of Aaron Finch and David Warner. The duo has opened the innings 25 times and has managed to score 944 runs at an average of 41.04. Both the players have a lot of experience playing in sub-continent conditions and will prove to be quite dangerous for the opposition.
While there is no doubt that the pair of Finch and Warner will be the preferable choice for the Aussie at the top. However, in case of any injury, explosive batsman and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is expected to fill in and will be a solid backup option for the Kangaroos. They are expected to slot in the experienced Steven Smith at the highly-important No. 3 position.
Middle Order - Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques
The Australian side will have one of the most destructive middle-orders among all sides in the whole tournament. The lethal duo of all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis will give the Aussies a lot of balance in the middle-order. Having played so much IPL cricket in the last few years, Maxwell and Stoinis are well accustomed to sub-continent conditions and will be very vital for the Australian side.
The Kangaroos will also have options like Mitchell Marsh and Moises Henriques, who are proven T20 players. There will be an exciting competition between players like D'Arcy Short, Alex Carey and Josh Philippe for the remaining slots available in the side. While it will be finalized post the performances of players against the West Indies, Josh Philippe is presently the front-runner to take that spot.
Pacers - Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson
The Aussies will have a deadly pace attack, especially with the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins expected to be back in the side. The duo has a total of 84 wickets between the two of them and is certainly going to give a different dimension to the Aussie bowling line-up. They will have their Test bowling partner and one of the most consistent bowlers in the world - Josh Hazlewood to give them the necessary balance.
Jhye Richardson, who took 29 wickets in BBL 10, should find a place in the squad having proved himself as one of the best T20 bowlers in the country. However, there will be a tough competition for the others slots for pacers with players like Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff etc. in the mix. Considering the past performances, Australia might opt for someone like Kane Richardson, who has 29 wickets in 26 T20Is for the national side.
Spinners: Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson
The spinners will have to play a huge role in sub-continent conditions, where there will be a lot of assistance for the slow bowlers. Adam Zampa is a certainty in the Australian squad, with him also having the experience of playing IPL. Mitchell Swepson is another player who has impressed in the limited opportunities he has got, having taken 7 wickets in 4 T20Is. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Ashton Agar can provide his side with some variety in the bowling attack in addition to his valuable contributions with the bat.
Australia's probable 17-member squad for T20 World Cup:
Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson
Players who could miss out: D'Arcy Short, Alex Carey, Daniel Sams, Jason Behrendorff, Tanveer Sangha, Andrew Tye, Riley Meredith