Australia head coach Justin Langer has said the team will be flexible in team selections in the remaining games of the 20-20 World Cup. Australia left out Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar for their opening game against South Africa. Both players have been a pivotal part of Australia’s T20I setup for over two years now. Given the conditions, many felt that Australia could have added an extra spinner to the team. However, Australia went in with three pacers and just one spinner in Adam Zampa, with Glenn Maxwell playing the spin all-rounder’s role. The move worked well as every Australian bowler bowled well that helped Australia restrict South Africa to 118-9.
Langer clarified that the call was taken keeping in mind the conditions and the opposition, adding that they will follow the same template going forward as well. “It was a very, very difficult selection,” Langer said to ESPN Cricinfo. “But because we went for the 7-4 set-up rather than the 6-5, and we felt that we were very well planned against South Africa, we knew that we wanted to try and make an impact in the powerplay overs, in the first six overs, we’ve seen that through the IPL. And we also knew the strength of South Africa upfront so, and thankfully it worked yesterday.”
“We’ve said from day one to the players and we did it in the last World Cup, we did it to a degree in the last Ashes in England, that we’ll just look at the conditions, we’ll look at the opposition, we’ll look at the match-ups, and we’ll make the call that we think is right for the team,” Langer said. “It doesn’t always work out that way, but with all the information we’ve got, we’ll work through that.”
Despite restricting South Africa to a paltry score, Australia could not convincingly win the game as they lost five wickets and took 19.4 overs to go past the line. Their batting has been a concern of late. The team will have to work on their flaws and come back stronger else they’ll have a rigid ride against stronger oppositions.