ICC World T20 2012 September 10, 2012

Ireland capable of beating Australia - McDermott

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As he prepares to coach against the Australia team he played a large part in rejuvenating over the past year, Craig McDermott is adamant Ireland will be capable of challenging his former pupils when they meet in the opening round of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Speaking for the first time since he quit the post of Australian bowling coach for personal reasons, McDermott told ESPNcricinfo he had no qualms about helping Ireland to foil Australia's T20 side. The match will provide a measure of whether George Bailey's team has truly slipped below Ireland's team of amateurs and English county professionals, as the ICC's T20 rankings now suggest.

"It'll be a good game, Ireland have got a well balanced side," McDermott said, having arrived in Colombo to work with the Irish squad. "If they play to their ability, which they have in the past in T20s and qualified, they'll give Australia and the West Indies a good run for their money.

"They're here to win and my job is to help them win, along with the other coaches. We'll just see who comes out on top on the 19th - we'll be working hard as a coaching staff and a playing staff to produce a cracker of a match.

"To work with all the bowling line-up here is going to be a challenge for me I suppose, it is a short-term stint, I've got to try to do the best I can to produce the best they can over the next two to three weeks. We're looking forward to some proper training leading into some practice matches."

McDermott's departure from the CA job was met with sadness on both sides, after a summer in which his simple philosophy of getting fit and pitching the ball up met with considerable success in Test matches. Having "dealt with" the personal issues that drew him away from the job, McDermott is now ready to work full-time again, and will be keeping his options open after his stint with Ireland ends at the conclusion of the World T20. Though Ali de Winter is ensconced as Australia's bowling coach, a return to CA remains a possibility.

"I said when I stepped down that I had some things I wanted to deal with personally, and I went away and did that," McDermott said. "While I was doing that I worked at the CoE and worked with the AIS intake this year, and also with the Under 19s leading into the World Cup. That came to an end, then I had a couple of weeks off and the opportunity came up to work with Ireland here.

"I'm keeping my options open, if something becomes available with CA that's fine, I look forward to that. I loved working with the team, the players I worked with both from a bowling and batting point of view were fantastic. I'm open to anything, I wanted some flexibility at the time, and that's just the way I decided to go."

Long tracts of time away from home are necessary evils of international coaching, and McDermott said he was again happy to contemplate the travelling lifestyle, not limiting himself to short-term jobs or consulting roles. He also indicated a desire to widen his knowledge of coaching around the world, having previously worked only within the Australian system.

"The time on the road is part of the job, so I'm not saying I want to be a consultant or that I don't want to be with a team," McDermott said. "It's where I see my best fit with an organisation to be able to develop their bowlers or their players. I just want to be a better coach, I want to experience other staff, even with the Irish team, different guys to work with from a strength and conditioning point of view, a physio point of view, Phil Simmons as a head coach.

"Everybody here thinks differently about how to mould a team, how to keep a team on the park, all those things are part of an ongoing learning process as a coach. One of the best things I've done as a coach over the last four or five years is coaching at junior level, away from the elite game. Coaching young kids whether they be 12, 13, 14, 15, has actually helped my coaching at a higher level more than anyone will ever know."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Biggus on September 12, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    @Simon Power-You're preaching to the choir mate. If it were up to rank and file cricket fans you guys would be in already. You're plainly next in line and it won't be long. You'll be a popular team too, especially here in Oz where we have a large population of Irish descent and plenty of your expats as well.

  • on September 12, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    Ireland went into 2007 without a prayer. Then beat Pakistan, Bangladesh and tied with Zim. After that a proper central contract system and investment and further wins against test sides in occasional 1 day games. In India the shock was not that Ireland had overturned one of the big boys, just that they did it with the largest run chase and the fastest 1 day hundred. Not the win itself. Now nobody would be shocked if they won one of the big games - a surprise like NZ beating SA maybe but not a shock. Stirling and Obriens fastest 100's in country cricket this year, Dockrells 2 6 fors in county cricket and Rankin ripping sides apart mean that Ireland do not have the best team but they have a number of ways to win - Joyce, Stirling, Wilson and O'Brien with the bat (all explosive) and Rankin and Dockrell with the ball. I said this before Bangalore on Cricinfo .. but this is the most talented side to leave these shores for a tournament, well run and with talent - watch out for upsets.

  • del_ on September 11, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    McDermott available again? Pack de Winter's bags please!!!

  • on September 11, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Why Steve smith is not in Australia Squad.......... Please don't ignore the All round players Replace smith with Hodge

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 11, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @bouncedout Honestly do yoiu think Ireland can beat Australia, that would be like me saying Ireland HAS beaten England, except mine is fact

  • aniV on September 11, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Australia's win over pak in last T20 is jst a fluke

  • HansonKoch on September 10, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    Phillip Hughes topped the Friends Life T20 averages with over 98. But not good enough for Australia to consider. What with George Bailey etc. Must be an incredible side they've put together.

  • Jaffa79 on September 10, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    The 20/20 WC is always a bit of a lottery. As noted on here, any team can beat any team. I think Eng rely too much on Morgan in spin friendly conditions and Aus lack quality spin options to be contenders. If they fire early and get their matchwinners in form then the Windies could be worth an outside punt. Other than that, the Saffas, if they aren't too tired by then, look like the team to beat...

  • Nadeem1976 on September 10, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    i think McDermet is joking here. Australia is australia , they will destroy Ireland. you will see.

  • Hattrick_Capes on September 10, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    @ Wozza-CY ---> Craig Young?

  • Biggus on September 12, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    @Simon Power-You're preaching to the choir mate. If it were up to rank and file cricket fans you guys would be in already. You're plainly next in line and it won't be long. You'll be a popular team too, especially here in Oz where we have a large population of Irish descent and plenty of your expats as well.

  • on September 12, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    Ireland went into 2007 without a prayer. Then beat Pakistan, Bangladesh and tied with Zim. After that a proper central contract system and investment and further wins against test sides in occasional 1 day games. In India the shock was not that Ireland had overturned one of the big boys, just that they did it with the largest run chase and the fastest 1 day hundred. Not the win itself. Now nobody would be shocked if they won one of the big games - a surprise like NZ beating SA maybe but not a shock. Stirling and Obriens fastest 100's in country cricket this year, Dockrells 2 6 fors in county cricket and Rankin ripping sides apart mean that Ireland do not have the best team but they have a number of ways to win - Joyce, Stirling, Wilson and O'Brien with the bat (all explosive) and Rankin and Dockrell with the ball. I said this before Bangalore on Cricinfo .. but this is the most talented side to leave these shores for a tournament, well run and with talent - watch out for upsets.

  • del_ on September 11, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    McDermott available again? Pack de Winter's bags please!!!

  • on September 11, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Why Steve smith is not in Australia Squad.......... Please don't ignore the All round players Replace smith with Hodge

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 11, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @bouncedout Honestly do yoiu think Ireland can beat Australia, that would be like me saying Ireland HAS beaten England, except mine is fact

  • aniV on September 11, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Australia's win over pak in last T20 is jst a fluke

  • HansonKoch on September 10, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    Phillip Hughes topped the Friends Life T20 averages with over 98. But not good enough for Australia to consider. What with George Bailey etc. Must be an incredible side they've put together.

  • Jaffa79 on September 10, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    The 20/20 WC is always a bit of a lottery. As noted on here, any team can beat any team. I think Eng rely too much on Morgan in spin friendly conditions and Aus lack quality spin options to be contenders. If they fire early and get their matchwinners in form then the Windies could be worth an outside punt. Other than that, the Saffas, if they aren't too tired by then, look like the team to beat...

  • Nadeem1976 on September 10, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    i think McDermet is joking here. Australia is australia , they will destroy Ireland. you will see.

  • Hattrick_Capes on September 10, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    @ Wozza-CY ---> Craig Young?

  • bouncedout on September 10, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    @jonesy2

    Give us a break....Aus cannot field one good side let alone five.

    Keep fighting boys, it wont help you beat the mighty Irish

  • Kentheavenonearth on September 10, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    don't worry jonesy2, it's only T20 the kid's game that anyone can win ! Australia will probably be No 1 at Tests again in a few months (Saffas too old). England MUST take other adult version seriously now, can't see Test summit for a while without our best player in thirty years banished because of social media, but I suppose those who live by the twitter...

  • Agila on September 10, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    @RandyOZ, How does it matter if Aus did not loose to Irelend(Dont worry you would see the day soon!), OZs do not care much about T20 anyways(Isnt that what you said?)

  • on September 10, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    nobody talks of indian taking t20 world cup,frankly guys suppose there is a match happens between india-westindies ,what westindies have and indian doesnot have to win it.analyse it with each aspect be kept in mind

  • jonesy2 on September 10, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    considering australia could field about 5 teams and they would all be the best in the world, you have to think these sort of aussie hating articles are pretty funny. good laugh.

  • Irelandcricketfan on September 10, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Let's be honest, the tournament format and group here is challenging and it's much more of a big ask for us to pull off any upset than any of the recent tournaments. In previous World T20s, we were grouped with the likes of Bangladesh (I was there when we beat them at Trent Bridge), not WI and Oz. WI and Oz are clearly much better than us (as you'd expect, for dear sake), and we have to play out of our skins to push them close. But if Stirling tees off, and has one of his magic days, you just never know. The kid is truly awesome, and world class. As is Dockrell.

  • ALATIFUSMAN on September 10, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    underestimating AUSTRALIA is not done. They r a team of high class players and history shows that they will bounce back.

  • Wozza-CY on September 10, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    @Captain Trent- is that you TJ ? If so, my moniker may give it away, particularly the CY (M) bit. Anyway, hope you go well against our boys. Dockerell could be a handful in SL. I'm not sure who to cheer for but should be a good game! Good luck!

  • yorkshirematt on September 10, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Aus are (unfortunately) nowhere near as bad as some of my fellow poms are making out. They won't win the tournament but i guarantee they'll go further than crisis team England. Semi finalists at least.

  • IndianInnerEdge on September 10, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    C'mon, what do u expect an international coach to say??!!- "We're just here for the scenery, and hope our boys donot bomb out in the 1st round itself?!!" CMc is the coach and his job is to gee up his team and get some pepper up the opposition, which is what he has done...the exciting thing is this format in which anything canhappen....and u never know with the proverbial Irish luck!....On an un related note, wish the cement heads @ the BCCI would snap up CMc, he sounds like the perfect coach for Ishant, Yadav and Sreesanth, the virtues of bowling a 4th stump line and pitching it up for the batsman to get caught whilst driving....Ah-perfection...Dunno what the indian coaches/media are doing when something so obvious is staringthem in the face...but then we always were a batting stats obsessed nation.... Looking fwd to a wonderful 20-20 WC-with upsets, sixes, wickets, runouts, et all...May the best team win...! Go India!!!

  • CarnivalOfSorts on September 10, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    There are no amateurs in the Irish team, players are given central contracts just like the Test teams. Do your research Mr. Brettig.

  • Meety on September 10, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @Geoffrey Ozzy Plumridge - RandyOz was referring to YOU!!!!!!!!

  • on September 10, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    gone those days when WC was awaited for the high profile matches like IND-PAK, SA-AUS, AUS-NZ, ENG-.....nahhhhhhh.....

  • on September 10, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    @RandyOz- do you even read the articles? It's Craig "Billy the Kid" McDermott who is saying the Irish can knock the Aussies over- never realised that he was pom?

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 10, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    @ it just goes to show you why the English still think they a good side, if they think the MIGHTY Irish are better cricketers than the Aussies then look out Ireland, the hint is plenty of spots are availble, after they get rid of kp and strauss and what happens to troublemakers Anderson and Swann like i said look Ireland.

  • CaptainTrent on September 10, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    ansarjsa. Little do you know about Irish Cricket to say we don't have any world class cricket.

    George Dockrell, Paul Stirling are certainly up with the best. Possibly also Ed Joyce.

    While this will be a very hard game to win, Australia are certainly favourites to win and Ireland will need to perform big time to do this. However I think we can win if we perform to our best :)

  • on September 10, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    I am Pakistani but when I saw Australia how quickly they learned to control spin in second T20 and almost beat Pakistan, I can see they are really a major threat.ICC ranking does not mean much. In T20 format you dont need much brain but killer instinct. And both Pakistan and Australia has plenty of brainless players so there is a possibility they both might reach semifinal. Irish are big fighters but probably they dont have all the experience needed to beat Australia. Pakistan could prove to be very dangerous side as they have included Imran Nazir and Abdur Razzaq. I am not sure if Afridi is going to play but he has to improve his batting and play like mohammad Yousuf and Yunis Khan . No one should demand a six from him, that is the time he loses his wicket. He should just wait for lose balls otherwise stay calm and score one and two's. I have been watching him for long time and he gets out in minutes by trying to hit a six. He should play only ground shorts and use straight bat

  • on September 10, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    Australia will win the cup, if they reach semis. Else bye bye.

  • on September 10, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    i dont know why all of u under estimating Aussies. i belive they will come very hard in T20 wc ahead. we have seen this in past as well when they won the their last 2 world cups. they loss their series before worldcup and not even lost a single game in world cup. they got very professional players and despite of losing in T20's i still rating them as one of 4 world cup favorite teams.

  • ejsiddiqui on September 10, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    In my opinion, Australia is still one of the best T20 side and a contender to win the WC. Ranking system is flawed, it does not count the strength of the opposition. Actually McDermott gave this statement to help Australia. He want Aussies to be more determined and not be complacent against Ireland.

  • RandyOZ on September 10, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    Funny the poms are commenting when they are the only ones who have lost to Ireland, not Australia.

  • Hammond on September 10, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    We are missing a few well known one eyed Aussie supporters- they must be concentrating on the footy finals..

  • Sakthiivel on September 10, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    @ LionSing : No doubt CSK can beat any side but mate what to do CSK not allowed in this T20WC.

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 10, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Ive read the Irish captain saying he predicts they will "need about 60 runs & then declare and get australia in because there could be a chance of rain".

  • milan014 on September 10, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    warner ..watson ..m hussey ..D hussey.. brad haddin.. Daniel cristian...james hopes ...steven smith..mitechell strac..pat cummins ...pattinson .. should be there for australian team so that the team can be great now

  • on September 10, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    To be quite frank, AUSSIES are much better side then this ranking system suggests. Though I m a Pakistani, still I believe presence of Warnar, Watson, Hussey brothers, Bailey and Maxwell is quite amazing for Australia as they proved in last game by nearly dominating the spinners of Ours.

    Starc would be the pace leader with Hilfenahaus, Watson, Cummings, Pattinson and johnson the supporting faster men. All what the need now is to get back BRAD HADDIN at place of Wade and get back James Hopes, Nathan Hauritz and Steve smith to add colors in the side

  • LionSing on September 10, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    No doubt..CSK is going to win this World Cup!!!

  • Big-Dog on September 10, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    McDermotts recruitment by Ireland doesnt add up with his reason for leaving Australia. I suspect a fallout somewhere along the line. Ireland can't even beat Bangladesh so they would have no chance of beating Australia.

  • on September 10, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • Ozcricketwriter on September 10, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Australia are 4-9 in the rating period, which isn't great - but they have only played against the top 5 sides. Ireland are 3-3 in the rating period with 3-0 against Kenya and 0-3 against Bangladesh. Something tells me that that makes Australia a better side.

  • on September 10, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    A coach should motivate the team by saying such things in a private meeting. All Craig McDermott has manged to do is is to challenge much superior opponents by trash-talking. It is not good for the team at all.

  • tommytucker on September 10, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    such a shame Ireland allowed england to steal Morgan from them, they wouldve been even stronger!!!

  • gibbons on September 10, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    I truly hope that Ireland win one or both of their games. They're a great side who get few easy breaks, and they do well regardless. But honestly, anyone who thinks that a T20 win represents a great watershed in Irish cricket is guilty of the worst kind of sensationalism. It will be a great achievement, certainly, any associate win is, but no more so than the World Cup win over England, and in fact I would say less so, as in my opinion the longer the game, the greater the glory in victory. Good luck to the men in green (Emerald green, that is).

  • Hammond on September 10, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    @Marcio- poor bloke, he's in hysterics that anyone would put Australian cricket and Irish cricket in the same sentence. Get used to such comparisons mate.

  • straight_drive4 on September 10, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    any cricketing nation with a brain will snap up craig mcdermott - excellent coach who only quit the aussie team because his son is now on the fringes and he didnt want to make it hard for his son. even if alistair makes it on his own merritts, there will always be jealous people out there saying he only got there because of his dad. so craig had to quit. he is obviously still interested in coaching thats why he has taken this role. great coach. good luck to him.

  • rsurya on September 10, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    Australia could win this worldcup.

  • ajayrcs on September 10, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    ICC ranking system is good, to be at the top the team has to win & as the matter of the fact is Australia is not winning. But we can't also denythat its is good preparation for Australians whereas Ind, Nz not played t20 game yet and RSA & Eng are playing in different condition what is required. So Australia is in the league of winning t20 cup.

  • JaneJosephene on September 10, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Problem is not with Austrialian team ,real problem is with the ranking system of ICC, current Austrailian side is much better than ireland Even comparing Austrailian team with Ireland seems to be unfair

  • azeesajid on September 10, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    o come on guys aus is far better side then irish side. aussie played realy well against pakistan bt unfortunately they lost, bt it totally does't mean that they are weaker then kengroes..

  • amjadams on September 10, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Aus is much better team then ire and will crush ire and plz pray for pak to win worldcup

  • Baber_Baloch on September 10, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Ireland up to now never ever have any class player in their time like mek hussy and bowler like Starc they can not beat Australia ...Australian can adopt any situation on time they will prove ...see dears

  • bluefunk on September 10, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    I'd lay long odds that if Ireland played Bangladesh in a Test match at Dublin, the Bangladeshis would lose, and badly.

  • on September 10, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    Enough Guys.... Aussi never give up n they will bounce back and win t20 world cup.

  • on September 10, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    I am all for Irish luck. Go Ireland go, this is your chance to prove it to the World that you can not not discarded just like that. Go there and play your heart out.

  • thebarmyarmy on September 10, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Worrying times for Australian cricket. Maybe its time to pick up the banana ball and kick that around a field of 50 people wrestling in mud. (AFL)

  • Expansion on September 10, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    Let's see whether Ireland can cause huge upsets by beating Aus & WI in the group matches.

  • Marcio on September 10, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    I wonder why the headline says "Ireland can beat Australia" when CM said "Ireland can beat AUS and the WI"? Why are there so many of these kinds of stories on Cricinfo at present? This is the third one I've seen this week about Ireland being better than Australia, or similar topic. It's not an issue. Ireland might win one game in 20 against Australia. The T20 format gives them a shot. But I don't think it is worth writing an article about. If there was an article about the minnows having a shot at beating top teams in general, that would be a legitimate topc, as it will probably happen at some point in the competition, given the nature of T20. T20 is the great equalizer.

  • on September 10, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    i think its just a tough luck for Australia but come on they are a lot better than Irish. the only abt Pakistan is that they got variety in everything. but fast bowling side could give them hard time too if Umar gul wouldnt be in form.

  • on September 10, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    Well hes an honorable man - always full hearted as a bowler and player. I am thrilled he's with Ireland, even if it is for only a few weeks .... Ireland need one win from either Australia or the Windies . ....Paddy Power has Ireland qualifying as 25/1 .. probably right but i cant help but think it might be worth a punt with OBrien and Stirling batting and Dockrell and Rankin bowling .....we have more than an outsiders chance ...and now we have bowling coach who espouses the hard work and basics that just might push us over the edge. We are not likely to win the tournament but I wouldnt be too comfortable in the table games if I was WI or Aus ... ask Pakistan and England ..... ;-)

  • vhs123 on September 10, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Yep, I now take it quite serious and very much possible. Aus, disgraceful.

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  • vhs123 on September 10, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Yep, I now take it quite serious and very much possible. Aus, disgraceful.

  • on September 10, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    Well hes an honorable man - always full hearted as a bowler and player. I am thrilled he's with Ireland, even if it is for only a few weeks .... Ireland need one win from either Australia or the Windies . ....Paddy Power has Ireland qualifying as 25/1 .. probably right but i cant help but think it might be worth a punt with OBrien and Stirling batting and Dockrell and Rankin bowling .....we have more than an outsiders chance ...and now we have bowling coach who espouses the hard work and basics that just might push us over the edge. We are not likely to win the tournament but I wouldnt be too comfortable in the table games if I was WI or Aus ... ask Pakistan and England ..... ;-)

  • on September 10, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    i think its just a tough luck for Australia but come on they are a lot better than Irish. the only abt Pakistan is that they got variety in everything. but fast bowling side could give them hard time too if Umar gul wouldnt be in form.

  • Marcio on September 10, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    I wonder why the headline says "Ireland can beat Australia" when CM said "Ireland can beat AUS and the WI"? Why are there so many of these kinds of stories on Cricinfo at present? This is the third one I've seen this week about Ireland being better than Australia, or similar topic. It's not an issue. Ireland might win one game in 20 against Australia. The T20 format gives them a shot. But I don't think it is worth writing an article about. If there was an article about the minnows having a shot at beating top teams in general, that would be a legitimate topc, as it will probably happen at some point in the competition, given the nature of T20. T20 is the great equalizer.

  • Expansion on September 10, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    Let's see whether Ireland can cause huge upsets by beating Aus & WI in the group matches.

  • thebarmyarmy on September 10, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Worrying times for Australian cricket. Maybe its time to pick up the banana ball and kick that around a field of 50 people wrestling in mud. (AFL)

  • on September 10, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    I am all for Irish luck. Go Ireland go, this is your chance to prove it to the World that you can not not discarded just like that. Go there and play your heart out.

  • on September 10, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    Enough Guys.... Aussi never give up n they will bounce back and win t20 world cup.

  • bluefunk on September 10, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    I'd lay long odds that if Ireland played Bangladesh in a Test match at Dublin, the Bangladeshis would lose, and badly.

  • Baber_Baloch on September 10, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Ireland up to now never ever have any class player in their time like mek hussy and bowler like Starc they can not beat Australia ...Australian can adopt any situation on time they will prove ...see dears