In contrast to the 50-over format, Australian cricket team have failed to create an impact in the T20Is thus far. It was back in 2012 that the Aussies had made it to the knockout stages of the global T20 tournament.
Generally, the think tank and team management during Australia’s T20I series is split up with the interim coaches deputizing the chief coach. During Darren Lehmann’s tenure, the likes of Trevor Bayliss, Justin Langer and David Saker used to deputize him.
Cricket Australia’s mantra is to be a numero uno side across all three formats. And they are certainly working on it as one can see it from their recent approach towards T20I cricket.
"In the past there's been a lot less T20 cricket played as a country outside of the world tournaments. When you're playing one game generally per series, if that, it can be quite hard to get your ranking up there. I think over the last 18 or 24 months we've played a lot more T20; we've probably had a lot more settled side over that time as well. I think there's merit in how we've moved up the rankings,” Australia’s T20I captain Aaron Finch quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"Slowly we're starting to find the right balance and a little bit more of an understanding of how each other play the game. There's a few new faces around, so as a captain I think it's important to have more of an understanding of guys strengths and things where there's room for improvement. There've been some great developments over the last few months on tour. We've trained hard," he added.
In the ongoing T20I tri-series in Zimbabwe, Australia have done a reasonably good job by winning 3 of their 4 league matches to set up final against Pakistan on Sunday (July 8). Finch has also done a superb job as a captain and a batsman. He has broken his own world record for the highest individual T20I score by smashing 172 against Zimbabwe on Tuesday (July 3).
"I feel like I'm playing very well at the moment. I'm not too bothered by a couple of low scores to be honest. T20 cricket tends to be high risk at the start of the innings and as long as I'm moving well and hitting the ball in the middle of the bat I'm pretty confident. Having played a lot of T20 cricket now, I understand the highs and lows of a batter in this game so it's just about making sure that you're giving yourself the best chance, making the right decision under pressure, and I still feel as though I'm doing that. It just hasn't gone my way in the last two games, but hopefully a big one in the final," Finch remarked.
Talking about the Pakistan T20I side that beat them in the last meeting just three days ago, Finch said: "They've got a lot of very dangerous players. If you look at the stats from this series, Fakhar Zaman has been outstanding and a real thorn in our side for a couple of games. He's also been really consistent in this format for quite a long time. Obviously [Mohammad] Amir came back and bowled really well in the last game. They've got a lot of left-arm options. And then Shadab Khan as well, bowling legspin and spinning it both ways is also a threat. We reviewed heavily after the game against Pakistan and came up with some really solid plans for their bowlers and batters.”
"We're still just slightly off in our execution with the bat, ball and in the field. Putting down a couple too many chances in the field - well, one is too many. With the ball we're probably just leaking that one over that's a real big one. In the past we've been really good at, if we're hit for a boundary early, shutting down the over and getting out of it. Lately there's been too many 15, 16-plus overs. With the bat, anytime you have to get a new partnership going, it makes it more difficult.
"We haven't played our best cricket in the last couple of games, but there's room for improvement and come tomorrow I've got a real good feeling that we'll bring our A game. Hopefully leading into this final, we're saving our best for last and then the boys will get a little break," he concluded.