To be honest, before their match against Pakistan, no one had thought that Australia would reach the final of the ICC T20 World Cup. In the Super-12 phase, both South Africa and Australia had won four matches each. But Australia’s better run rate helped the Kangaroos seal a place in the knockout rounds.
And then the way they snatched victory against Babar Azam & Co. reminds of the old Australian side which was famous for never giving up attitude.
Just to refresh readers’ minds, Australia had come into the ICC event after losing all the series played this year. They lost to New Zealand, West Indies, and Bangladesh in the lead-up to the tournament.
On Thursday, however, Australia stunned Pakistan by five wickets in the second semi-final to set up a summit clash against New Zealand.
Ahead of the major clash, IANS got a chance to speak to Indian spinner Pardeep Sahu, who knows the Australian team inside out and who would have been with them in Dubai if ICC had not reduced support staff of the visiting teams because of Covid restrictions.
In 2018, leg-spinner Sahu joined the Australian team to help them at the nets to help the Aussie batters prepare against the wily sub-continent spinners.
“I was called again (for the T20 World Cup) but because of some Covid restriction in teams by the world governing body (‘CC), I couldn’t go. But I am in constant touch with them. My work is to help them learn how to play spinners in these conditions,” said Sahu.
Asked about his views on the Aussies’ win against Pakistan, the Haryana man said, “They have got this legacy of never giving up. They will fight till the last ball is delivered. Their temperament under pressure is really appreciable. They work very hard at nets. I was with them in 2018 and 2019 as well. They know how to win under difficult situations. We all have witnessed it in the past as well. I am sure Aussies will win the World Cup today,” the 35-year-old cricketer said.
Asked about David Warner’s timely return of form, Sahu said, “form is a temporary thing. Warner has always been a great batsman. The way he uses Power-play is phenomenal. I also want to say that people are talking about Steve Smith’s form as well. He, too, is a class player and gives important support to the team. You can’t ignore that.”
After 44 matches across four venues in the UAE and Oman, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup has reached its last destination: the finale. Vying for the silverware at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday will be neighbours Australia and New Zealand, two nations separated by the Tasman Sea and the balance of their playing eleven.