How did Australia spark a turnaround in the T20 World Cup?

Cricket News: How did Australia spark a turnaround in the T20 World Cup? | How Australia ended up winning the T20 World Cup

There is a reason pre-tournament predictions aren’t taken as seriously by those who have a real understanding and stake in the game. They know that all the on-paper forecasts fall flat when players battle it out amidst intensifying pressure amongst thousands of people.

Only those who manage to hold their nerve in these crunch moments make it through the finishing line. It is in all manners, the survival of the fittest.

Nobody gave Australia much of a chance prior to the commencement of this edition of the T20 World Cup. The Aussies haven’t really put much focus on the shortest format internationally in recent times. Moreover, they came on the back of series defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh prior to this tournament.

They didn’t have a settled XI, and doubts were cast over the form of the batting lineup as well.

Then on 14th November, they set aside all those apprehensions by comfortably steamrolling over a very competent New Zealand side at the Dubai International Stadium.

How did the Aussies manage to do it? How did they finally laid their hands over the coveted T20 World Cup trophy?

They were pitted in the group of death and made it through to the Semi Finals on the back of a better net run rate as compared to South Africa.

They faced an immensely gifted Pakistan side in the Semi Finals and were put against the effervescent and in-form Kiwi unit for the showpiece game.

Australia shouldn’t really have won all these games as per conventional cricketing logic and their recent form. But they managed to get their act together in the difficult moments and sailed past the winning mark every single time.

Victory is as much of a habit as it is an achievement. When you win over and again all the time, the spirit to not give up during the tough moments gets ingrained in you permanently.

At that moment, the form doesn’t count. Neither does past record matter. What is important is how you deal with that particular situation at that point in time, and the end result takes care of itself.

That’s what happened with Australia across the tournament. Though their form wasn’t the best as compared to others, the Aussie spirit of not letting down in big moments came to the fore as the tournament progressed.

Warner, Zampa, Marsh, Hazlewood lead the way

Cricket News: How did Australia spark a turnaround in the T20 World Cup? | How Australia ended up winning the T20 World Cup

David Warner couldn’t buy a run for the love of money in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. Yet, he managed to tame the supremely talented bowling attacks of Pakistan and New Zealand in the Semi Finals and Final respectively.

Josh Hazlewood didn’t play T20 internationals for a good four-and-a-half years from 2016 to late 2020. He didn’t play in the first leg of IPL 2021 either. Yet, he found his mojo back in the second leg and carried that on to the World Cup as well.

There is hardly a cricketer as maligned as Mitchell Marsh in the present day Australian cricketing setup. Yet, he came into this tournament on the back of a stellar turnaround of form. Glenn Maxwell said that he hasn’t seen anyone hit the ball better than what Marsh was doing prior to this T20 World Cup.

Still, not many seemed to give the all-rounder a chance to succeed as a specialist top-order batsman. Marsh proved the critics wrong handsomely, top-scoring in the Final and leading the Aussies home in style.

Australia defied logic and predictions

See, very little separates the very good teams from others in premium cricket tournaments like these. Especially in the limited overs format, on-paper predictions count for nothing as only the clutch players tend to possess the mettle, flair and the comprehensive ability to win their team big games.

Australia never seemed to be out of place whenever encountered with difficult moments through this World Cup. With Maxwell gone and over 12 RPO required in the semis, not many gave Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade a chance to steer the chase successfully.

But the duo remained undeterred. They seemed unfazed in a moment that most other sides would have collapsed in. They maintained a composed head over their shoulders and finished the game with more than an over to spare.

That’s legacy. Winning culture. The mental strength to be undisturbed any sort of acrimonious developments. Belief and confidence to turn around the game single-handedly. That’s the art of Australian cricket.

This is a moment to rejoice for Australia. They perhaps haven’t had the best of recent years in international cricket by their own high standards. But this victory is a clear testament that the blood of champions that run in their veins is still going strong. That’s a great news for both them, and world cricket as a whole as well!

Written by Tarkesh Jha. Follow Tarkesh on Twitter

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