In today’s cricket sports news, learn more about Australia’s shaky start at the T20 World Cup is “not an excuse,” according to Mark Waugh, who has pushed the nation to perform better under pressure. Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja has responded to Faf du Plessis’s shocking assertions that South Africa suspected Australia of ball-tampering previous to the 2018 infamous “Sandpapergate” affair. Lastly, England’s T20 World Cup campaign began with a five-wicket triumph over Afghanistan; nonetheless, the run chase was cautious and a bit shaky rather than explosive.
Aussies Were Blindsided by WC Attack; Terrific Prompts Finch to Make Huge Changes
Mark Waugh says Australia’s slow start at the T20 World Cup is “no excuse”
New Zealand outperformed Australia in all three disciplines in Saturday’s opener.
Finn Allen and Devon Conway scored 46 runs in the first three overs after Australia chose to bowl first.
Aaron Finch kept the pace on too long despite the Kiwi attack in comfortable batting conditions and was scared out of bowling Glenn Maxwell by Conway’s spin abilities.
Adam Zampa admitted after the match that Australia misjudged the circumstances and made poor selections as New Zealand scored 3-200.
“Making the appropriate decisions sooner means deciding whether to slow down in the second, third, or fourth over. Probably, Zampa said.
“Maxi’s a terrific alternative for us, but we made some poor selections and took too long to examine the conditions.”
Waugh agrees that spin bowling could’ve been employed more and sooner.
He believes Australia was surprised.
Australia’s World Cup flopped. Now they must pay
Australia’s first match was a rude awakening.
Australia’s first match was a rude awakening.
Waugh told foxsports.com.au on Monday that the team was unprepared. We didn’t expect New Zealand to play like way, but you have to be flexible.
“Change your game plan and go with your gut rather than planning everything before the game”
“Sometimes you must credit the opposition,” he said. They performed well; we couldn’t have played worse.
Australia’s premeditated plans weren’t working, so Waugh argued Maxwell should have bowled.
Maxwell didn’t match up well with Conway, but he stayed unbeaten, scoring 92 off 58 balls, while every bowler – fast or slow — surrendered at least nine runs an over.
Waugh: “The speed wasn’t working and I thought we bowled in the “hit me” zone.” “We overpitched.” Adam Zampa also overpitched.
The reigning champions’ loss may be disastrous.
Even with one loss, Australia is already flirting with elimination with the significant setback to its net run rate and a scary game with England.
Finch expressed concern about the team’s energy levels a week before game one.
Finch claimed players were “weary” after back-to-back white ball series, including one in India.
Waugh argued that Australia’s weariness shouldn’t be a factor.
These fit cricketers travel year-round. Traveling obviously wasn’t ideal for preparation, but many players rested in business class. I don’t see it as an excuse because they’re well-cared-for.
World Cup. If you’re not ready for the World Cup, you never will be, so exhaustion is an excuse.
“I don’t think the players believe that. I don’t think fatigue had a role; we just didn’t play well and New Zealand won.”
Australia faces Sri Lanka in Perth (Tuesday, 10pm AEDT), where another loss will ruin its semi-final aspirations.
Should Finch win another toss, the numbers suggest he’ll choose to chase, as has been the case recently.
Australia has won 30 tosses in the past two years and fielded first 23 times, winning 13 times.
All of the top cricket nations have good win-loss percentages when chasing during the past two years.
Different settings and conditions require flexibility.
Waugh said Australia should bat first if Finch wins another toss to “make a statement.”
“We’ve won every toss and wanted to bowl. We wanted to bowl first even in (pre-tournament) white ball. Get runs, Waugh said.
“Hit hard, score big, and push the opposition. So I want that.”
Waugh recognized that the numbers favor batting second, but said they don’t account for World Cup pressure.
Runs are crucial in World Cup games. “Chasing big scores is tough,” he remarked. “Even 160, which you think is attainable, is hard to get in a big game.
Sometimes we get carried away bowling initially. Stats, I think. This game is stat-driven, yet you must trust your gut.
“Stats are a nice back-up and can show patterns, but sometimes you have to trust your instinct. If the pitch is good, bat first.
“That’s how we played.” I realize it’s changed, but you have to be flexible.”
Marcus Stoinis said Australia won’t panic until Tuesday night because the players thrive under pressure.
“We know we’ve performed under pressure,” Stoinis remarked. “We know we can perform when our backs are against the wall.”
“We have self- and mutual-trust. Sometimes the atmosphere helps.”
Khawaja Laughs Off South African Great’s Latest Sandpapergate Accusations
Usman Khawaja reacted to Faf du Plessis’ accusation that South Africa suspected Australia of ball-tampering before ‘Sandpapergate’ in 2018.
The former South Africa captain’s autobiography ‘Faf: Through Fire’ will be released later this week.
In it, du Plessis said South Africa began spying on Australian fielders using binoculars in the changeroom from the first Test of the series, an allegation News Corp says Australian sources have shut down.
Khawaja noticed that from the second Test in Port Elizabeth, South Africa had reverse swing.
Six years ago, the Aussie was bowled by Kagiso Rabada at the WACA with a “rare” inswinger 40 overs into the contest.
Khawaja is out on day 1 of the second Test between South Africa and Australia in 2018.
Khawaja is removed on day 1 of the 2018 second South Africa-Australia Test match.
“Even in the second Test in that series, South Africa reverse swung the ball before we did,” Khawaja told The Age before Sunday’s Twenty20 World Cup match.
“So for him to claim… they reverse-swung it before us. Easy to point fingers, but Kagiso Rabada reverse-swung my stumps at the WACA after 40 overs.
So they were good at reverse swinging, which is rare at the WACA before day five.
So while he says that, reverse swing was once popular in the game. How every team did it, I can’t say, but I giggled when I saw those comments.”
Khawaja thinks the 2018 series “wasn’t played in the finest spirit” and expects this summer’s would be.
From our side, I never liked it, even from the first game (in Durban). A lot transpired that game, and I thought the spirit was lost.
We’re a new Australian cricket squad now, and we play differently. Since then, we haven’t played each other in Test cricket, so I think it’s crucial to play this series in the proper spirit.
We started a lot of that, so maybe we can have a nice, competitive series we can be proud of.
“Whoever wins, we say it was hard fought, as it always is with South Africa, but fair and done in the true spirit of the game.
“For me, that’s the most essential thing, we’ve had a few hot series versus South Africa where both teams pushed the boundaries too much.”
Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months for ball-tampering, revived the story last year by suggesting more teammates knew about the scheme.
In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, Bancroft said Australia’s bowlers knew the strategy.
Bancroft has subsequently backtracked and indicated he has no fresh information to give with the governing body. The four bowlers in question released a united statement denying wrongdoing.
England Missed a Chance to Enhance Its Net Run Rate Against Afghanistan
After Sam Curran’s five-wicket haul helped England dismiss Australia for 112, they lost their top five batsmen before winning with 11 balls left.
Former captain Eoin Morgan labeled it a “lost chance” for England to raise their net run rate.
The atmosphere La Nina has brought damp weather to Australia’s east coast, and England’s matches against Ireland on Wednesday and Australia on Friday could be disrupted.
England’s net run rate is 0.62 after New Zealand defeated Australia in Sydney.
“Net run rate may be significant, but I hope not,” Morgan remarked. If you chased England’s total in 10 overs, 8 down, your run rate is great.
“It was potentially a squandered opportunity, but the changing room will be relieved to get the win and get going.”
Mark Wood, who took 2-23 in four overs against Afghanistan, said, “We wanted to be aggressive.”
“But the ball was swinging and bouncing, so it wasn’t easy to just blast it. Massive bounds, too.
“We went out with that intent, but sometimes you have to play good cricket and win.
“Afghanistan is a dangerous team with match-winners; they’ll beat a large team.” We’re lucky. We seemed clinical.
“Against a very talented bowling attack, it didn’t feel easy,” said England captain Jos Buttler. We were challenged, and we owed the bowlers respect.
“We could have gone 2-0-3 early and put pressure on ourselves. Afghanistan bowled competently, if not perfectly.
Buttler’s side has won each of its last five T20 internationals, as well as a warm-up match against Pakistan on Monday.
“It was a great blow to English white-ball cricket losing Morgan as captain this year and not winning a series at home in the summer,” remarked Nasser Hussain of Sky Sports Cricket.
“After some hesitation, they triumphed in Pakistan and Australia and have begun strongly in the World Cup.
Buttler has played it down, claiming England will be there or thereabouts and difficult to beat, but other teams will consider them as a favorite.
Summary of today’s Cricket/Sports News
Overall, Mark Waugh says Australia’s slow start at the T20 World Cup is “no excuse” New Zealand outperformed Australia in all three disciplines in Saturday’s opener. Finn Allen and Devon Conway scored 46 runs in the first three overs after Australia chose to bowl first.
On the other hand, Usman Khawaja responded to Faf du Plessis’ assertions that South Africa suspected Australia of ball-tampering before ‘Sandpapergate’ The former South Africa captain outlined the charges in his autobiography ‘Faf: Through Fire’ In it, du Plessis stated South Africa began spying on Australian fielders using binoculars in the changeroom from the first Test of the series. News Corp says Australian sources have shut down the assertion.
Finally, after restricting their opponents to 112 runs, mostly due to Sam Curran’s five-wicket haul, England dismissed their top five batsmen en route to victory in Perth with 11 balls remaining. With rain anticipated to be a problem in this World Cup, former England captain Eoin Morgan deemed it a “lost opportunity” for England to improve its net run rate.