Clarke expecting big things from Australia


Michael Clarke believes Australia are capable of finally getting their hands on the World Twenty20 trophy at the sixth time of asking in India.

Australia have had plenty of success in one-day international cricket - including lifting the World Cup on home soil last year - but the World T20 title is the one major limited-overs title that has eluded them.

They have reached just one final in five attempts, losing to England in Barbados in 2010 under Clarke's captaincy, and suffered defeats at the semi-final stage on two occasions.

However, Australia look to have a great chance of becoming the sixth different nation to be crowned champions with an intimidating batting line-up which includes the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and skipper Steve Smith.

Injured paceman Mitchell Starc will be sorely missed, but Clarke is backing his former team-mates to make their presence felt as they attempt to achieve what he failed to accomplish in his illustrious career.

He told Omnisport: "I think Australia will do really well. I think conditions are obviously going to be a lot harder for them than if we were playing in England, South Africa or Australia and New Zealand.

"The sub-continent conditions are going to be tough and I would say India is probably the favourite.

"But I think Australia has a really good squad, a good mixture: plenty of all-rounders, some very experienced top-order batting, some good death bowlers. So I think we've got a really good squad, now it's just going to come down to consistent performance through that tournament.

"I think you don't play too many international T20s these days, so it's limited - I think we probably perform at our best when we have a major tournament, so you've got consistent T20 cricket leading up to the major tournament.

"I'm hopeful we can do well in the World Cup and get our ranking [sixth] up. A lot of guys are playing T20 cricket, whether it be BBL or going and playing in the IPL, so they've got enough Twenty20 cricket under their belt, it's just gelling as a team.

"I think that's the one thing people need to remember - whether you've performed at the IPL [Indian Premier League] or BBL [Big Bash League], your role in those teams might be different when you play for Australia.

"So, for example, if you open the batting when you play in your IPL or BBL team, in the Australian team you might bat four, five or six, so your role is a lot different, and conditions are a lot different [to the BBL].

"We have no excuses, we've got plenty of talent, I think we've got a really strong squad and I think you'll see us have success in this World Cup and see our ranking continue to improve."

Australia failed to progress beyond the Super 10 stage in Bangladesh four years ago and have been drawn in a tough Group 2 which includes hosts India, New Zealand, Pakistan and a qualifier.