Former Austroalia wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist reckons that the second semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in which Aaron Finch and Co. will be up against Pakistan will not be a walkover. He added that Australia have got some rhythm into the tournament and expects bowling to have an impact in Dubai on Thursday.
“I reckon we’re a big chance tonight. It’s not going to be a walkover; Pakistan has been the benchmark well and truly and maybe leading in for a year or two in T20 cricket. I like us, I like the rhythm we’ve got now, it’s been a real sort of tournament set up,” said Gilchrist to SEN Drive.
Australia began the tournament with wins against South Africa and Sri Lanka in the Super 12 stage. But their campaign suffered a blow when Group 1 toppers England crushed them by eight wickets. Australia brushed off that loss to register wins over Bangladesh and West Indies to set up a semi-final showdown with Pakistan, the Group 2 toppers. One of them will face New Zealand in the final on Sunday in Dubai.
“We’ve been up and down a little bit, tinkered here and there, but the last couple of games we’ve got some rhythm now and our bowling has been outstanding and I think that’s where we could really have an impact,” observed Gilchrist.
He was also of the opinion that toss will play a crucial factor in deciding the result of the second semi-final. “I wouldn’t be the first to mention that nine out of ten games have been won at this venue tonight in Dubai chasing the total. Dew comes in and it’s hard for the bowlers, so it’s a big toss.”
Gilchrist believes that winning all the time could creep in some complacency within the Pakistan team, something which Australia would like to attack. “I think if we can make some early inroads into that batting lineup, Pakistan, and I’ve been in that scenario before where you’ve dominated a tournament and you get to the semi-finals, and you sort of feel like the game owes you a victory. Like, ‘Hang on, we’ve been the benchmark here, we should be in this final’.”
“But it doesn’t owe you a thing, it starts again in the knockout stages, and I guess that’s what Matty Hayden (as one of their coaches) would be harping onto the Pakistan team. But I like us tonight.”