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Why Australia flopped in the T20 World Cup...

Source: PTI
June 26, 2024 04:17 IST
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‘I thought they weren't prepared. This is a worry with Mitchell Starc. If the ball is not swinging, he doesn't change his length quickly enough.’

Mitchell Starc

IMAGE: Mitchell Starc's 'inability to change his length quickly and poor fielding' contributed to Australia's defeat to India in the T20 World Cup Super Eight match. Photograph: Ash Allen/Reuters

Australia were grossly under-prepared for the India challenge, while pacer Mitchell Starc virtually ran out of ideas when Rohit Sharma smashed him for 29 runs in an over in their Super Eights match in Gros Islet (Saint Lucia), says former-cricketer Brad Hogg.

Rohit smashed a 41-ball 92, including 29 runs in an over of Strac, giving India a huge 205-run total to defend.

India won the match by 24 runs to set up a semi-final clash against England.


"I thought they weren't prepared. This is a worry with Mitchell Starc. If the ball is not swinging, he doesn't change his length quickly enough. And he didn't change his length quickly enough to Rohit Sharma as well when he got hit for 29 runs there," Hogg, a veteran of seven Tests, 123 ODIs and 15 T20Is for Australia, told Star Sports Press Room.

"There was one moment where Rohit Sharma came out of the wicket. And then you saw Starc turn around. And I don't know whether he said Rohit's hitting with the wind or there's no swing there. That was a moment where I thought Australia were in a lot of trouble," he said, in his critical analysis of the former champions.

Hogg added that besides Rohit's blitz, Australia's poor fielding too contributed to their defeat.

Australia were eliminated from the World Cup following their loss to India and Afghanistan getting the better of Bangladesh.

"(I knew) They're not going to come back because they were starting just to look at what's going wrong rather than looking for the solutions. So, that's probably where it went wrong.

"And also, dropping Hardik Pandya, it was an easy catch there for Mitchell Marsh, the skipper, with a couple of overs to go. And I think Hardik scored 22 off the next 10 balls. You can't afford to drop Hardik Pandya when you've just bought your way back into the game. That was also crucial," said Hogg. 

South Africa can break jinx of never winning an ICC event 

Hogg, 53, also said perennial chokers South Africa seem to be hitting the right notes at the business end of the T20 World Cup and Aiden Markram's "amazing" side can break the jinx of never winning a single ICC event.

South Africa have always entered ICC tournaments as one of the favourites but underwhelming performances and poor luck have seen them bow out without a title to their name.

The Proteas missed out on a semi-final berth to England during the 2021 T20 World Cup because of inferior net run rate, while at the 2022 T20 World Cup they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the Netherlands.

But Hogg feels the Proteas have just started to blossom.

"They are just spawning from here. It's amazing. I regard (opener Reeza) Hendricks as well, I really like him as a player. And then you've got to build a wall, they can build a nice spin with especially (Heinrich) Klassen. I expect him to do really well against Afghanistan and get to the finals," said Hogg.

South Africa play Afghanistan in the first semi-final on Wednesday and Hogg believes their pedigree will see them secure a place in the final.

"I think it is going to be South Africa and we have got a really strong squad, good spin with (Tabraiz) Shamsi and (Keshav) Maharaj. I don't plan on the big nations now, and I think they'll have to go out there and play it out again instead and just have that confidence to go with the final side.

"For me, if I get past that semi-final right, South Africa is going to win the final this year. I just think I've got the team balanced and I've got the aggression as well. I really like Markram as the captain. He is correct and very composed. And I also think, we are going to win as a very well-composed team, not panicking and just setting the right conditions," added Hogg.

Hogg was harsh on the Australian fielding against Afghanistan in the Super 8s, saying they were "terrible".

Afghanistan upset Australia by 21 runs and then overcame a gritty Bangladesh to move into the semi-finals, a feat that left the people in the war-torn nation in frenzy.

"Australia took Afghanistan too lightly. They rocked up. They weren't at their best. They were terrible in the field. They were terrible with the ball. And at the end of the day, Afghanistan deserved to be there rather than Australia.

"Talking about Mitchell Marsh, he is probably the bro of the team. He's like Andrew Symonds. He has a lot of fun. If there's a little bit of division in the camp, or there's a bit of argy-bargy, he generally lights the load. So, he's that bro. But the other thing is, Pat Cummins probably wasn't a certainty to play in the playing eleven of this World Cup."

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