George Bailey and co. will have to put this disappointing tournament behind them and move on © Getty Images
Australia suffered a humiliating 73-run loss to India in their inconsequential ICC World T20 2014 match at Dhaka on Sunday. They have lost as many as three matches on the trot and are out of contention for the semi-final round. Devarchit Varma opines while Australia did not play to their potential in the clash against India, the losses in earlier matches proved the T20 format’s unpredictability.
In the 2012 edition of the ICC World T20 held in Sri Lanka, Team India failed to advance to the next round after suffering mere one loss — to Australia in a Round Robin match. India had won four out of five matches, but that one defeat to Australia spoiled all their chances of making it to the next round of the tournament. This instance was the first when the cricketing world witnessed how cruel the unpredictability of the shortest version of the format could be.
Australia’s defeat to the West Indies in the Group 1 encounter of the ICC World T20 2014 did somewhat similar to them. The heart-breaking loss dashed their hopes of qualifying for the semi-final round. The high-flying Australians surprisingly lost all their matches in the tournament so far, and their chances to advance to the next round are over.
Only two teams from each group can qualify for the semi-finals and with India becoming the first team to do so in this World Cup, the situation gets tougher for all other sides in this group. Pakistan registered a thumping win over Bangladesh in the first match on Sunday, and their tie against the West Indies would determine which team is going to qualify as the second team from Group 1.
Australia came into the ICC World T20 2014 as one of the red-hot favourites to go all the way this time around. They not only had the squad which could make that happen, but most importantly, the winning momentum they had was certainly a huge benefit in their favour. The experience of playing in Indian conditions was enough with the likes of Shane Watson, David Warner, James Faulkner, Brad Hodge and many others being in their ranks, and the able leadership of George Bailey was capable of adding that elusive trophy which isn’t there in their cabinet.
Australia were coming off from T20 series wins over strong outfits like England and South Africa, but the cruel format of the game once again showed no team enjoys any kind of benefit if they do no play up to their potential in every single match. While Australia’s close losses to Pakistan and the West Indies were enough to ring the warning bells, the performance against India was nothing less than shambolic.
T20 cricket is all about slam-bang hitting and some good bowling, and the uncertainty that is associated with it makes it even more interesting. Look at India; they have won four matches on the trot. They were coming off from string of losses and the off-field controversies were powerful enough to distract some of its best players. But they have got their act together and are the only side to have not lost a game so far.
The exit from this World Cup should not prompt any changes in the Australian side. Bailey is still the best man to lead them in the shortest format. The batting and bowling departments too are in good health, only thing that they need to do is to take this in their stride and move ahead. There is one more game left in this tournament for them, an inconsequential clash against hosts Bangladesh. All they can do is play for pride and register one consolatory win on this trip.
ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details
ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)