Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch said on Saturday that winning the ICC T20 World Cup would be a “huge” achievement for his side, given that the title has eluded them all this while.
Australia will play South Africa in the ‘Super 12’ opening game on October 23 and would hope to overcome the jinx that has plagued them all these years. Their preparation too hasn’t gone as planned as the side lost to the West Indies and Bangladesh.
“It (winning the title) would be huge, obviously it is the one that has eluded us, we have been close a couple of times but we’ve also been quite a distance off in other times,” said Finch on Saturday.
Australia were defeated in the semifinals by eventual champions India in the very first edition in 2007. The cricketing superpowers reached the final three years later but fell at the last hurdle to England, while they also lost to the eventual champions in 2012 as the West Indies won their semifinal match.
And while they failed to reach the knockout stages in both 2014 and 2016, captain Finch believes his squad possesses the talent to finally end their T20 drought.
“We’re still very confident going into it. We’ve got a group here that has played a lot of T20, not a huge amount together, and guys are at different stages of their preparation. It comes down to getting it done on the day. Every team can win any game, we know that in T20 cricket; there’s match-winners right across board so we just have to turn up at the right time,” said Finch to icc-cricket.com.
Like Australia, South Africa have competed at every Men’s T20 World Cup but have yet to lift the trophy, reaching the semifinals in 2009 and 2014.
However, the Proteas have the No.1-ranked bowler in the format, with no player in world cricket taking more wickets in T20Is this year than 31-year-old wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.
A series win over defending champions West Indies in the summer also suggests they are finding form at just the right time and skipper Temba Bavuma is quietly confident about their chances.
“We’ve had a lot of cricket and we’ve also had some positive results, which has been good for our confidence as a team especially with us being a young fairly inexperienced side,” he said.
“The opportunity for guys to play with each other, get to know each other, has been good and I think we’ll be taking all those learnings and lessons forward and putting them to good use. As a unit there’s probably not as much expectation from people from the outside without all the big names but for us as a team there is a certain level of expectation on us as a team.
“We are definitely not coming to fill in a number or anything like that. We’ve done our work as a collective, that’s the main thing for us and that’s our main focus,” added Bavuma.