Australia v Bangladesh, World T20, Group 2, Bangalore March 20, 2016

Australia consider changes for Bangladesh game


Australia will consider bringing Aaron Finch back into the side to face Bangladesh despite Usman Khawaja's solid opening innings in the loss to New Zealand in Dharamsala.

Khawaja made a free-flowing 38 off 27 balls before being run out pushing for a second with David Warner, but coach Darren Lehman is sticking to the policy of flexible selection, which could see several changes made to the Australian XI in Bangalore for Monday's game.

"[Khawaja] played beautifully, he played beautifully," Lehmann said. "It's not unfortunate [he was run out], he can say no. He's just got to get better at running between the wickets, all the little things we didn't do well enough.

"He played beautifully, but it depends. We've got Bangladesh in Bangalore, so work out what the best option is for that game and play it from there."

Lehmann spoke glowingly of Finch, lauding the "brilliant" manner in which he handled the news of his omission for Australia's opening match.

"He has been fantastic," Lehmann said. "He has been unbelievable. We only made the final decision when we arrived. One final look at the conditions, the wicket and the weather and that's what we decided but he's been brilliant. Can't speak highly enough of him."

Lehmann echoed the sentiments of captain Steven Smith after New Zealand's eight-run victory, blaming Australia's batting through the middle overs for the loss but struggled to put his finger on the reason behind their poor shot selection.

"Smith, Warner, Maxwell, Marsh, the whole lot of them - they need to be smarter," he said. "They know that. They don't mean to play the shots they play. At the end of the day we've just got to be better. We had a really good start. We should close that game out. Not comfortably, but we should close it out from 1 for 50.

"I don't know [why they didn't play smarter], you'd have to ask them. They're out there batting. Also understand it's a pressurised game. It's easy for us sitting back watching in the media box or as a coach, so it's pressurised out there and the wicket was slow and spun and that's what we're going to get.

"But we've got to be better at finishing those sort of scenarios. As long as they learn and understand the pressures of World Cup cricket and now knock-out cricket. Basically you lose, you're out for us. Can't explain why we played how we played after six overs but as long as they get better at it."

Australia's preparations for their vital match against Bangladesh - although they consider every game to be do-or-die from here on - weren't helped by the dreadful weather in Dharamsala on Saturday. Massive hailstorms and treacherous icy roads prevented the team leaving their high-altitude hotel as scheduled, with roads blocked and their morning chartered flight unable to land at Dharamsala airport.

While they were eventually able to reschedule travel arrangements and arrived in Bangalore in the evening, it was hardly helpful with such a tight turnaround and Australia can ill-afford any further slips in this tournament.

"Every game is a must-win when it is such a short tournament and you have to win three out of four," Lehmann said. "You want to win the first game and get the tournament off on the right note. But at the end of the day we have still got to beat Bangladesh, we have still got to beat Pakistan we've still got to beat India, so you've got to win enough games and if you do that you qualify.

"That is the great nature of the tournament. It is so quick you haven't got too much time to think about it."

Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on March 21, 2016, 13:34 GMT

    Some of this must be Smith's ego... Finch is far too good to be left out of a team that the likes of Marsh, Faulkner and Agar can somehow be accommodated in. But to get him in, Smith needs to drop a place down the order. I would have thought that Finch, Watson, Khawaja, Warner, Smith, Maxwell is the best top 6, plus Nevill, Faulkner (as the only left-armer), Zampa and then two of Coulter-Nile, Hazlewood and Hastings (I would choose the latter two). Mitchell Marsh is a luxury; his bowling isn't required when Watson is in the side and he is patently not as good a batsman in this format (if any format) as Finch, so it's illogical to play him.

  • sanjoy on March 21, 2016, 13:31 GMT

    To lose four wickets to bad shots and with plaenty of balls left Marsh and Mexwel made a mesh of the chase and lost to NZ.I thing they will be beaten by BD this night.Best of luck BD.

  • Drew on March 21, 2016, 11:13 GMT

    @ PRABHAT KIRAN MUKHERJEA Is it possible you have never heard of the truism that the best way to contain a side is to take wickets? You are correct though, they did run out of balls. However, the solution was never to hit big. I don't think you watched the game.

  • Prem on March 21, 2016, 8:50 GMT

    Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Finch, Smith (c), Maxwell, MMarsh, Faulkner, Neville (wk), Hazlewood, Zampa is the best Australian XI of the touring party in batting order

  • binu on March 21, 2016, 8:06 GMT

    Aussies watch out Shabbir and Mahamadulla , they can dismantle your attack and have quality in their batting, they have a good left arm pacer and a good spinner in Shakib .Don't take them lightly. Even though their fans are abusing , i like their team, they are exciting

  • Michael Ponnudurai on March 21, 2016, 7:32 GMT

    Aus have not been good in T20 in International matches. Will be very surprised if they reach semis. They do play some good games and win. But they are not consistent. In these kind of pitches, the teams that have stand and deliver kind of batsmen, and good spinners, have better chances to win

  • Glen on March 21, 2016, 6:50 GMT


    I think it is unlikely, but I hope you are correct.

  •   Prabhat Kiran Mukherjea on March 21, 2016, 6:49 GMT

    Australia aren't going to make it.

    They have seen this story before. Go into the tournament backing their batsmen to be positive. Then the moment a few big strokes go wrong start laying into them.

    That aside from the fact that the main reason they lost was they ran out of balls; not batsmen. Ergo, if anything they needed to be looking for more aggressive shots, not less.

  • Mick on March 21, 2016, 6:08 GMT

    I believe Warner must Open if he plays. Finch or Khawaja can be at No. 2 or 3 or both. Watson should be dropped down the order to be after Maxwell. Smith should also drop down the order. Agar to be dropped. Should not have been selected at all. Bowlers should be Zampa, Faulkner, Watson, Maxwell, and 2 from Hastings, Marsh, Coulter-Nile, Hazelwood. Don't really need more than 3 all rounders.

  • Dennis on March 21, 2016, 4:49 GMT

    OZ needs to play Watson, purely on the basis of his IPL experience and he's been a great success so far in IPL. The game of the tournament would be between OZ and India on Easter. Whoever wins that game will be the champion provided OZ deal with Pakistan before that and they should given Pakistan's batting woes. The reason I say this is cause, SA's bowling can be taken apart and WI is a team of superstar individuals. incapacitate a couple of them including Gayle and you can tame them. But it's advantage India in spite of their low run rate cause they will be playing all their games on spinning tracks while the others are playing on a random variety. OZ couldn't tame India down under and it's near impossible to win against India on Spinning wickets. That's why they should play all those players who are a success at IPL and Watto is one of them.

  • No featured comments at the moment.