Andrew Tye is having a good year. He was the leading wicket-taker at this year's IPL with 24, and he's taken more T20I wickets than anyone else this year. He's also the leading striker in the tri-series in Zimbabwe, with nine scalps from three matches. But after Australia's 45-run defeat to Pakistan in the dress rehearsal for Sunday's final, Tye admitted that his team were "well off the mark in all aspects" and that he needs to choke runs as well as take wickets if he is to keep improving as a bowler.
"We were just well off the mark today in all aspects," Tye said. "With the bat, the ball and in the field we were a bit sloppy. We definitely expect more from ourselves. I'm pretty happy with the way I've been bowling, but not completely. Today my last over went for 18, so there's definite room for improvement there. I need to cut that down to maybe 5 or 6, and then we're chasing 13 less runs and that can change the story of the game. The fact that I'm getting wickets is good, but I'd like to cut the runs down a bit more."
Australia's bowling attack had first use of a pitch that traditionally aids swing and seam this morning, but a bang-it-in approach meant they couldn't take advantage of the conditions. Pakistan took 51 from the Powerplay, and when Fakhar Zaman started to get going Pakistan quickly took the match out of Australia's reach.
"We didn't execute our plans very well. We probably set our fields a bit wrong at times too. They knew what we were going to come out and do and they attacked us pretty hard at the start. Once they got away, we found it hard to bring it back."
Tye shrugged off suggestions that the chilly midwinter conditions in which today's game was played took the fire out of the Australians' bellies. There was a little overnight rain in Harare, and temperatures dipped as low as 13°C (plus wind chill from a gusting breeze that blew all day).
"A lot of the guys have county cricket experience, so they have played in these conditions before. It is what it is. You rock up one day and it can be 40 degrees and you don't complain when it's too hot. And you don't complain when it's too cold."
Today's performance aside, Australia have found some winning combinations in their T20I side, and have come out on top in seven of their last nine games, and are within touching distance of the no. 1 ranking currently held by Pakistan.
"We've done very well in this format over our last 10 or 11 games," he said. "The mood is still very upbeat and will continue to be. We'll learn from today. We've found a pretty stable team. Some really good performers in the Big Bash have come into the team, and they've done well. We're settled and we're enjoying playing the cricket that we're playing. We've got a lot of freedom to do what we do, and the coaches and the captain always back us to do that. Some days it's not going to come off, like today, but some days it will, and then we can beat any team in the world."