March 23, 2023


Matthew Hayden has urged Australia’s selectors to be ruthless as they build towards future World Cups following the team’s early exit for the T20 event on home soil.
There is expected to be a significant turnover in players for the 2024 T20 World Cup in West Indies and the USA, but before that there is the ODI World Cup in India next October. The selectors have taken a first step towards that tournament by naming a full-strength squad to face England later this month with Travis Head given the chance to cement a position as Aaron Finch’s replacement at the top of the order.
Only one change was made from the squad that won the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE with Tim David replacing Mitchell Swepson although Cameron Green later came in for the injured Josh Inglis. Finch has said he won’t make an immediate call on his future but is not expected to feature in 2024 while Matthew Wade is unlikely to feature. Steven Smith’s position will also be up for debate while there may be a restructuring of the bowling attack away from the all-format quicks.

Hayden, speaking in his capacity as Pakistan’s team mentor, drew comparisons from his playing days when the selectors made bold calls to rebuild teams with an eye on future World Cups.

“The Australian team has some thinking to do. There has to be some freshness,” Hayden said. “And I think one of the great strengths of Australian cricket has been its ability to be able to recognise when to make that gear change into a different playing roster. I think full credit and respect has to go to the players that played this tournament, [they] certainly deserve to be there.

“A little bit like Mark Waugh giving away to someone like myself after World Cup campaigns, it’s always been quite ruthless preparing for the next World Cup and they seemingly come around more often than not.

“Just 12 months ago we were sitting here talking about the T20 champions and that was Australia‚Ķso the tournaments are coming around quick and fast. But certainly from an Australian cricket point of view, there has to be planning heading towards World Cups. They’re the premium events. They’re the events that everyone across the world plans for, and Australia, unfortunately, just didn’t get it right.”

Hayden termed the decision to leave out Mitchell Starc for the Afghanistan match as “really significant.” At the same time, national selector George Bailey attempted to further explain the move saying it came about because Cameron Green, who had replaced the injured Finch, gave Australia another middle-overs options and they wanted to strength the death bowling.

“Every time an Australian team goes into a major series or tournament … the expectations are very high,” Bailey said. “We’re disappointed we’re not taking part from this point on in the semis. Specifically to Starcy…it was a tactical decision, it was a match-up decision. People can make of that what they will. And they are.”

However, Bailey was in agreement that Australia’s tournament had been left with too much catching up to do after the opening 89-run defeat against New Zealand at the SCG. Daniel Vettori, the assistant coach, has since suggested that it would be have been a wiser approach from the batters to minimise the margin of defeat when victory was out of the question.

“To get behind the net run-rate as far as we did it meant a lot of things were probably out of our control,” Bailey said. “Every game post that you provide opportunities to try and chase some of that net run-rate back, but you have to give credit to other teams as well. That’s where it went wrong, that first game, to be beaten so comprehensively. You’d like to think that batting line-up should be able to find its way to 140-150 then you are probably having a different conversation.”



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