Friday, June 14, 2024

Perth Scorchers: Inside Word – Our Scorchers locals at the T20 World Cup

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Photo Credit: Perth Scorchers

Fresh from a trophy-laden period which saw them claim the Ashes, a 50-over World Cup and a World Test Championship inside 18-months, the Australian Men’s team now head to the USA and West Indies on the hunt for glory in the T20 World Cup.

The make-up of the World Cup squad has been determined, with Ashton Agar, Josh Inglis, Cameron Green, and Mitchell Marsh all named in the 17-player touring party, with Marsh as skipper.

Here is what we might expect from each of them as Australia aims to recreate the magic from their 2021 World Cup triumph in Dubai.

Mitchell Marsh 

Mitchell Marsh……. Australian T20 skipper, it has a nice ring to it.
Marsh will become the first West Australian to captain Australia at a T20 World Cup, after being announced as skipper earlier this month.

He took over the role late last year, winning seven out of eight matches, after assuming the position from Victorian Aaron Finch following his retirement from international cricket.

The powerful allrounder has been in career-best form over the past 12 months, with his dominant international displays quickly making him a regular fixture across all formats for his country.

The 32-year-old was rewarded for his incredible run of form earlier this year, by claiming his maiden Allan Border Medal as Australia’s best Men’s player across T20, ODI and Test formats during the 2023 calendar year.

He became just the third Western Australian to claim the nation’s highest cricketing honour, following in the footsteps of greats Adam Gilchrist (2003) and Mitchell Johnson (2014).

Marsh has blasted 346 runs at 69.20 at imposing strike rate of 170.44 since taking the reins as skipper, with his dynamic ball striking during all phases of the innings often putting his side in match winning positions.

He will be a key figure in Australia’s strong batting lineup on the predicted low and slow wickets of the West Indies, likely batting in a top three that will include fellow dashers David Warner and Travis Head.

Often underrated, Marsh’s leadership will also be key as Australia attempt to defy foreign conditions to become holders of all major trophies in Men’s international cricket.

Cameron Green 

Green is a player of immense talent and match-winning power, and his form in the 20-over game over the past 12 months earned him selection in the touring squad.

The 24-year-old is fresh off another gruelling Indian Premier League campaign, with the strongly built allrounder providing many telling contributions for his new franchise Royal Challengers Bengaluru as the tournament wore on.

Despite starting the season slowly, Green struck form at the right time to finish with 255 runs at 31.87 and a strike rate of 143.25, including two Player-of-the-Match performances to help his side qualify for the playoffs.

While he hasn’t played a T20I since November 2022, Green could play a pivotal role in Australia’s World Cup campaign, with his ability to find the boundary likely to be important on pitches that could prove tricky for batting.

His reliable right-arm seamers and freakish ability in the field allow him to be a presence in all three facets of the game, which will count in his favour as Australia aim to find a trophy winning formula.

Josh Inglis 

Few batters – let alone wicketkeeper batters – better to watch in full flight than Josh Inglis.

The dynamic West Australian proved that last November when he struck a 47-ball T20I century after coming in at first drop against powerhouses India.

The knock, which equalled Finch’s record for the quickest T20I century by an Australian, rubber stamped his undoubted world-class talent, and locked away the position as his country’s preferred wicketkeeping option in white-ball cricket.

Inglis also produced yet another consistent Big Bash League campaign for Perth Scorchers, tallying 238 runs at 34, while producing several flawless performances behind the stumps to see him earn Team of the Tournament honours.

One of Australia’s best players of spin, Inglis’s likely role as a ‘finisher’ will be incredibly important, as will his glovework behind the stumps to the likes of Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell and fellow West Aussie Ashton Agar.

Expect to see plenty of Inglis in action in the West Indies and USA, in what could be his breakout tournament at international level.

Ashton Agar 

An incredibly talented cricketer, Agar’s inclusion in the touring squad comes as no surprise once you delve into his career T20I numbers.

The left-armer has taken 48 wickets in 47 matches at 22.35 including a best of 6/30 against New Zealand in 2021, with a miserly economy of just 6.47 per over.

Despite having not played a game since the last T20 World Cup in 2022, Agar could play an important role in the tournament, in conditions expected to be conducive to slow bowling.

The crafty 30-year-old will join forces with Australia’s perennial short-form spinner Adam Zampa, and the experienced Glenn Maxwell, in a three-pronged spin attack.

With the ability to add valuable runs in the lower order and his dynamism in the field, Agar presents an intriguing option for the selectors.

His recent international form will help his cause, striking 48 not batting at number nine and taking 1/40 off nine overs to guide Australia to a thrilling three-wicket ODI victory against South Africa last September.

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