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T20 World Cup: Australia v Oman match preview

Australia begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Oman at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown on Thursday and they will certainly fancy racking up a convincing victory in Barbados.

The Baggy Greens won the tournament back in 2021, but a year later missed out on a place in the semi-finals and they will be eager to put things right this time around and double up with the 50-over World Cup they won in India last year.

First up for Mitchell Marsh's side is a clash with Oman, who lost their first match of the competition against Namibia following a Super Over, with that game having also been played as the Kensington Oval.

. What: Australia v Oman
. Where: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
. When: 10:30 (AEST), Thursday 6th June 2024
. How to watch: Prime Video
. Odds: Australia 1.02, Oman 19.00

Conditions may not suit big-hitters

Australia certainly have the class and talent to overwhelm Oman, with the two sides having never previously met in T20I cricket.

However, they may need to be wary of pitch conditions and the weather in Bridgetown.

Oman could only manage 109 all out in their narrow loss to Namibia on Monday, with the wicket offering plenty of spin, as well as some uneven bounce.

Then, on Tuesday, England and Scotland saw their match abandoned after the Scots had reached 90 without loss after 10 overs, with that truncated fixture at least suggesting that runscoring is more than possible.

With spinners likely to play a major role on Thursday, Aussie skipper Marsh - who is unable to bowl in the match - is confident that his side have a true difference-maker in the shape of leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Zampa excelled in both the 2021 20-over triumph and the 50-over success two years later and Marsh is well aware that the leggie is a key performer for the Baggy Greens.

He told the West Australian: "If you look across our past two World Cup wins Adam Zampa has been by far our most important player."

Zampa is 8.00 to be named as Player of the Match on Thursday, while he is 1.83 to take more than 1.5 wickets against Oman, with the leggie well-rested after sitting out the recent IPL season.

Mitchell Starc impressed in India as Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned champions and should be inspired by fellow left-armer Ruben Trumpelmann having claimed three wickets for Namibia against Oman on Monday.

Starc is 1.72 to take more than 1.5 wickets on Thursday, while he is 3.75 to be Team - Top Bowler.

Oman ready to take on the big boys

While Oman may have lost their first match of the competition, captain Aqib Ilyas remains bullish for the challenge of taking on one of the giants of the game, expecting his side to treat the clash like any other.

He told reporters ahead of the showdown with the Aussies: "You see the last match, how the ball was turning and staying low.

"Everyone tries to go for sixes, but every day it is not the same day and if the same wicket is there, maybe it can be a problem for them."

Ilyas was among those to impress with the ball against Namibia as he took 1-17 from four overs of his off-spin, although seamer Mehran Khan was the undoubted pick of the Oman attack as he claimed 3-7 from three exemplary overs.

Mehran is 5.00 to be Team - Top Bowler against the Baggy Greens, while skipper Ilyas is available at 5.50 in the same market.

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