Aaron Finch does not believe that the postponement of this year's T20 World Cup until 2022 has to derail Australia's planning even though the next tournament on the horizon will now be staged in India next year.
Australia had enjoyed a year of considerable T20I success from February 2019 until cricket stopped in March, winning nine of their last 11 matches which would have been 10 if not for rain against Pakistan in Sydney.
It was leaving them poised to be one of the favourites going into a home T20 World Cup - in a format where their best performance to date as been the final of the 2010 event in West Indies - but all that has now changed due to the pandemic which has seen this year's edition pushed back two years with India, Covid-19 permitting, to host their tournament as originally scheduled in 2021.
However, that hasn't caused Finch to rip up any plans as Australia prepare to resume international action with the tour to England, which includes three T20Is, with the confidence that the success the team has enjoyed was built around a side that has become adaptable enough for all conditions.
"We felt like we had a squad that was really flexible in terms of how we wanted to structure up whether it's in Australia or India," Finch said. "The fact it's been pushed back 12 months and it's in India, it doesn't really change the way we structure up the side because we feel like we had a lot of bases covered.
"Depending on wickets and conditions we could go either way with that structure. That won't change at all, I can't imagine. We've played some really good consistent cricket in T20s over the last 18 months to two years, so that's something we're really comfortable with. But it does keep guys on their toes who have been in that playing 13, 14 over the last couple of years to continue to keep performing at a high level. More guys will get opportunities no doubt."
Australia's T20I form has benefited from the format not being treated as the one in which key players are resting with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins both settling into major roles while the return of David Warner and Steven Smith has been significant. Since the start of the previous Australia season, Warner has scored 415 runs in nine T20Is, being dismissed just three times, with a strike rate of 142.12
However, the need to take an enlarged 21-man squad to England to cover for all eventualities has meant that some new and recalled faces are included. Wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe, right-arm quick Riley Meredith and left-armer Daniel Sams are the three uncapped players in the squad, and Finch suggested they aren't just there to carry the drinks.
"What it [the new fixture list] does do is gives people an opportunity to jump out of the pack and really make a great case to be part of that final 15 for the World Cup in India," Finch said. "Having the youth there we think it's a really good opportunity to get some new guys around the squad and expose them to the Australia environment, not just playing but traveling and training. Everyone who is in the squad is there for a particular role to play should that role come up."
Two of those recalled for the first time since the ODI World Cup in England are Marcus Stoinis, who had a prolific Big Bash last season with 705 runs, and Nathan Lyon. Finch said that Stoinis' ability to play a variety of roles meant he was difficult to overlook.
"That kind of package doesn't come along every day, so it was only a matter of time before he got back in the squad again because his skillset is so good," he said. "We're still working out in one-day cricket what the best way to structure up our team is. He's the type of player who gives us a lot of flexibility in that regard as well."
On Lyon, who played the World Cup semi-final against England but has never been able to cement an ODI berth and has played just two T20Is, Finch said he complimented Agar and Zampa.
"Nathan is well and truly a good conversation piece. He's such an attacking bowler, he's so skillful and he spins it the other way. That just gives us an extra layer to structuring up our side. He gives the option to go with a frontline offspinner."