Brett Lee, former Australia pacer, is confident that Australia-led by Aaron Finch can bounce back from their crushing group stage defeat at the hands of England, who have already qualified for semis, provided their top-order fires in the upcoming matches of the T20 World Cup against West Indies and Bangladesh.
England put up a thoroughly professional display against Australia last week, bundling out the Men from Down Under for 125 before overhauling the target in 11.4 overs to record a dominating eight-wicket win.
Brett Lee: England Was Outstanding Against Australia As Australia Let Themselves Down
Australia has four points from three outings and is under the pump to win their remaining fixtures as South Africa is ahead of them with six points from four games and also has a better net run rate.
“England were outstanding against Australia. The 50-over World champions were just too good in the end, it’s as simple as that. Parts of the game were outstanding for Australia but in other parts, they probably let themselves down,” Lee wrote in his column for the ICC’s official website.
While Australia has beaten South Africa and Sri Lanka, South Africa has beaten West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh quite comprehensively.
“Now it’s not all doom and gloom for Australia – I try and look at things from a positive point of view. There are a lot of people saying, ‘he shouldn’t be in the team’, ‘he shouldn’t be batting there’ and so on. “But they say- relax and go about things patiently. I think that’s a really good expression that the team can use just to relax,” Brett Lee said.
“Everything will be okay. I know that there could be changes, they might look to shuffle the order, they might look to some different bowling options but sometimes you just get outplayed and England outplayed Australia,” Brett Lee said.
Australia beat South Africa by 5 wickets and Sri Lanka by 7 wickets before losing to England by 8 wickets. They will play against Bangladesh and West Indies next.
Brett Lee: Australian Top Order Has To Fire As Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis And Matthew Wade Has To Score Runs
Brett Lee feels it is imperative that the Australian top-order, comprising the likes of David Warner, skipper Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, and all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, fires upfront, while wicketkeeper Matthew Wade provides a solid finish.
“The top order has to fire, they have to get runs from guys like Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, who has been in good form the first two games but missed out with a duck against England and that’s part of the game. Matthew Wade has been getting a few runs, getting some starts but Australia needs a big 40 or 50 from him to finish so there are areas where Australia can take some positives out,” he said.
While Aaron Finch and David Warner have scored 80 odd runs in 3 games, Steve Smith has amassed 64 runs in the leading run-scorers list headed by England’s Jos Buttler-214 runs. Among leading wicket-takers, Australians Adam Zampa has 5 scalps, and Mitchell Starc has 4 scalps in a list headed by Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga-14 scalps in as many games.
Brett Lee suggested that the Australian openers David Warner and Aaron Finch could try out a slightly different strategy rather than going all out at the beginning of the innings.
“I know the Aussies want to get off to a flyer, I heard Warner say it, I heard it from Aaron Finch and they are two brilliant players, two guys I’d pick in my side every single day of the week. Maybe it’s about taking the foot off the accelerator a fraction at the top. I know that some teams go really hard in the first six but other teams don’t take as many risks so perhaps Australia can do that but I’ll still back Warner every day of the week to go down town first ball if he has to,” he said.
Talking about the Australian bowling unit, he said, “They probably didn’t get the right line or length against England and in this format there are days where the batsmen miss out and the bowlers defend. But when collectively you don’t have your best game, you can see what happens.”
Despite the ordinary performance against England, the 44-year-old backed Australia to lift their maiden T20 World Cup title. Ahead of the tournament, Brett Lee had picked India as the team to beat, but the former pacer feels England and Pakistan are top contenders.