Alex Carey

Carey pleased with 'role-specific' side as Australia brace for home T20 World Cup

Australia vice-captain Alex Carey believes that his team is a well-balanced outfit, especially on the bowling front, as they shape up to contend for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at home next year.

Australia's well-rounded attack has been in good form in white-ball cricket this year, having played clinical roles in their away ODI series wins against India and Pakistan, and later during their semi-final run at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019. They've translated that success in the shortest format, too, having restricted Sri Lanka to 99/9, 117 all out, and 142/6, during their 3-0 sweep last week, and followed it up with a disciplined performance against Pakistan in a rain-marred game in Sydney on Sunday, 3 November.

It's nice to have a very role-specific side together. Players are feeling really confident in their roles and executing their roles.

Alex Carey

"They've started this year quite well, and against Sri Lanka they were fantastic," Carey said, reflecting on Australia's bowling unit. "Today, against Pakistan, the No.1-ranked team in the world, they set it up really nicely for the run chase. It's nice to have Mitchell Starc running in with the new ball and then at the death, with the spinners through the middle. Kane Richardson has been fantastic with the new ball and at the death again. And Pat Cummins, wherever you need him.

"It's a really well-balanced squad at the moment. It's nice to have a very role-specific side together. Players are feeling really confident in their roles and executing their roles. And with the bat as well, the two at the top, smudge (Steve Smith) and then a couple of finishers. It's a nice group we've got together."

Australia struck on a regular basis against Pakistan in the first T20I on Sunday, but Babar Azam, the top-ranked batsman in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Batting Rankings, kept the visitors in afloat with an unbeaten 59. Carey, though, believes that his bowlers are capable enough to get past the Pakistan skipper in upcoming games.

"Hopefully, we can get him out early, but then, he's shown that he's No.1 in the world in this format for a reason, and again today, he was really classy for them. It'll be nice to get into that middle order a bit early, and Starc and Richardson have the weapons to do that. Hopefully, we don't have to worry about one player in particular."

Skipper Aaron Finch, too, laid emphasis on having a well-rounded attack, and labelled his spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar as the go-to men, especially with the larger ground dimensions in Australia.

"I think it's important to have them as options, especially when you have a left-arm and a leg-spinner," Finch said. "The two spinners, all the stats suggest that runs per over off spinners are lower in this country than quicks. I think that's based off ground size, how true the wickets are, too. It's not a non-negotiable, but structuring up for these two series, we've felt that it was our best five bowlers going forward."