To Cricket Australia's credit, we have put Test cricket on a pedestal, we've put that above all else, which I think is a great thing for cricket © IANS
Steve Waugh also said to Cricket Australia’s credit, we have put Test cricket on a pedestal, we’ve put that above all else, which I think is a great thing for cricket but it has hurt T20I cricket © IANS

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, who took his team to World Cup 2003 triumph believes that focus of cricket authorities in the nation on Test cricket is certainly laudatory but at the same time it is also the reason for the side’s unsatisfactory performance in T20 World Cup 2016. According to Waugh, Australia are not playing enough Twenty20 internationals (T20Is) because of which they are not getting enough practice and experience to play the shortest version of the game against quality teams. Waugh added that the selectors have shuffled a lot with the team which led the players to not get into the groove and get that kind of consistency which is needed at the highest level. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, Match 31, ICC World T20 2016 at Mohali

Waugh was quoted by Cricket Australia’s official website saying to Fairfax, “We probably haven’t played enough Twenty20 cricket in the past 12-18 months and we swapped the team about a fair bit. To Cricket Australia’s credit, we have put Test cricket on a pedestal, we’ve put that above all else, which I think is a great thing for cricket. Not many other countries are doing that. The down side to that was that the Twenty20 side [of the game] suffered with players in and out and [they] didn’t get a consistent role in the side and they just fell short in India.” T20 World Cup 2016: Virat Kohli’s game has glimpses of Sachin Tendulkar, feels Steve Waugh

Waugh also said that a packed schedule has also taken its toll on the Australian team, “I bumped into Steve Smith over there and he said playing three forms of cricket means you’re away for 280 days a year, which is a lot from your family but it is more intense these days. We were away for the same amount of time, for instance the tour of the UK for an Ashes tour was four-and-a-half months, these days it is two-and-a-half months, so they squeeze in a lot more high-level, intensity cricket. So it is hard on the players physically, I guess mentally and technically. It is a real challenge. I think [having] the guys play all three formats is probably too much but I still think we need to find a way for the T20 side to fulfil their potential and we can be the top of all three forms of the game.”