Back-to-back title push comes up short - Australia tournament review
Most runs – Marcus Stoinis (126)
Most wickets – Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa (5)
What went right
You have to look long and hard to find the positives from Australia's campaign, although they will be happy to have finally got some cricket into powerful all-rounder Tim David.
While David only managed to get two hits (11 against New Zealand and 15* against Ireland), his first appearance at a major tournament should be a healthy boost for the squad in years to come.
Other highlights were few and far between, with Marcus Stoinis' quickfire half-century against Sri Lanka in Perth the standout individual performance during what was a disappointing tournament for the hosts.
Stoinis smashed an unbeaten 58 from just 18 deliveries to guide his side to victory in that contest, while Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch also scored half-centuries at different stages.
The bowlers toiled away hard as a group, with Adam Zampa's 2/19 against Ireland and Mitchell Starc's two wickets in an over from the same match among the best efforts.
What went wrong
There's a long list of things that went wrong for the Aussies as they tried to defend their T20 World Cup crown on home soil and it started before the tournament even started with a host of key players battling injury concerns.
All-rounders Mitch Marsh and Stoinis weren't able to bowl during much of the lead-up, while a freak injury to back-up keeper Josh Inglis and a niggle to David Warner on the eve of the tournament made things worse heading into their tournament opener against New Zealand.
That match against the Kiwis was poor from start to finish and further injuries to David and Finch during the penultimate match of the Super 12 stage only added to Australia's suffering.
While the Aussies were able to produce an improved performance in their final match of the Super 12s and defeat Afghanistan narrowly, the damage from the loss to New Zealand was too much as they missed out on the semi-finals on net run rate.
What does the future hold?
We already know that skipper Aaron Finch has retired from ODI cricket and the experienced right-hander may follow suit in the T20I arena given the next T20 World Cup is still a couple of years away.
Some of his fellow veterans may try and make it to the 2024 event in the West Indies and USA, with David Warner and Matthew Wade among the team's older players that may choose to press on and try and feature at another T20 World Cup.
The likes of Cameron Green, David and Inglis will likely receive more white-ball opportunities over the next couple of years, while selectors may provide a handful of younger players more chances too.
Seamer Nathan Ellis has shown enough to suggest he has a solid future in T20I cricket, while top-order batter Josh Philippe and speedster Riley Meredith are among the players likely to be given more games at international level.
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