CT17 Preview : Can Australia make it three Champions Trophy titles?

CT17 Preview : Can Australia make it three Champions Trophy titles?

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A lot has been happening off the field in Australian cricket circuit, the continuous fallout between players and the board over the central contract issue has led to some bitter moments and has dented the relationship among both the parties over the past few months. Despite all the tension and distractions, the remarkable thing about the Australian cricket sides over the years have been that on the field they are a different monster.

As always in mega ICC events, Australia start this tournament as huge favourites. Quartet of fearsome fast bowlers, explosive batting line-up along with dynamic fielding unit makes the current world cup holders a force to reckon with in the upcoming champions trophy.

STRENGTHS

The prospect of facing four genuine fast bowlers who can rip through a batting lineup on any given day is a frightening prospect for opposition batsmen. Even though the surfaces in England are expected to be lifeless and in favour of batsmen, the likes of Mitchel Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins can make things happen in middle overs even on a benign surface with their pace and accuracy.

While flat pitches might help in somewhat nullifying their pace attack, it plays directly into the hands of Aussie batsmen who loves to hit through the line and struggles when the ball moves off the pitch or in the air. In David Warner and the skipper Steven Smith, they have two of the world’s most prominent batsmen. Those two in combination with Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and hard-hitting Chris Lynn, and rest assured some massive totals on the batting beauties are almost a guarantee.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

While the squad looks strong, there are few things of caution for the team. In case of few early wickets or in slightly seamer friendly conditions, there aren’t any batsmen apart from the captain who have the capability of rebuilding and playing a long innings.

Also, the spin attack only comprises of specialist leg spinner Adam zampa and part timers Travis head and Maxwell, which makes the bowling lineup look one -dimensional. In the later stages of the tournament, the tracks might start assisting the slower bowlers, in that case Australia haven’t got many world class options to choose from.

X factor

The big Left-armer Mitchel Starc, if fully fit is a match winner with the ball in hand. The big in-swinging Yorkers at the death and fast paced bouncers at 150 KPH makes him lethal with white ball as well. If he can swing that new ball, Starc will be a major trump card for Australia in this mega event like he was in 2015 world cup.

VERDICT

The squad looks well balanced with some serious match winners in the lineup. Australia should atleast make the semis. If the big guns find form and some exciting newbies like Lynn can showcase their potential, then the golden boys can lift the trophy for the third time as well.

The squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazelwood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

The fixtures:

June 2 v New Zealand, Edgbaston

June 5 v Bangladesh, The Oval

June 10 v England, Edgbaston

Best result: Winners – 2006, 2009