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T20 World Cup: Rankings unlikely to bother Australia

The next T20 World Cup takes place in the United States and the West Indies at the start of June, with Australia hoping to lift the trophy for the second time, having previously done so in 2021.

Ahead of the action getting underway at the global event, the 5.00 Baggy Greens currently have just one player in the top 10 of either the batting or bowling rankings in T20 internationals - paceman Josh Hazlewood.

However, that position is unlikely to worry the Aussies much as they prepare for the action, with them having recently swept a T20I series 3-0 in New Zealand.

Chopping and changing has an effect

One of the main reasons for just the solitary Australia star being inside the top 10 in the rankings is the nature of selection for recent T20Is, with a number of leading players having been rested for the bigger challenges ahead.

Star seam trio Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have all been used sparingly in the 20-over game, meaning that they have been unable to climb up the rankings.

It is perhaps telling that Hazlewood is the only member of that illustrious trio inside the top 10 as he was the only one of the three to feature in the 2-1 series win over the West Indies last month.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa is the other notable bowling name not to be inside the top 10 in the official rankings, with his absence caused by him having been up and down with his performances in the shortest form of the game.

However, he claimed 4-34 in the second T20I against the Black Caps just over a fortnight ago and his overall record of 92 wicket in 80 T20Is at an average of 22.63 show that he is more than up to the task of leading with spin for Australia.

Zampa’s outstanding displays in the 50-over World Cup triumph last year surely ended any doubts about just how much of a world-class white-ball bowler he is.

All-round options cover batting issues

With the bat, Australia have been trying out a number of options in the T20I arena, with Steve` Smith looking like he may well miss out on selection for the World Cup after failing to make the most of his opportunities.

Travis Head is the leading specialist batter in the rankings for Australia at 19, with Tim David two places further back after impressing in recent matches with his powerful hitting in the lower middle order.

However, there is little reason to be too concerned as the Baggy Greens have a wealth of all-rounders who will surely fill up much of the batting line-up.

T20I skipper Mitch Marsh is at 15 in the batting rankings and has also recently been able to bowl again after injury and he is backed up by Marcus Stoinis, who stands at number five in the official all-rounder rankings.

Add into the mix Cameron Green, who has been given a red-ball focus before being challenged to impress in the IPL, and it is clear that Australia are not as weak in their batting as the rankings might suggest at first glance.

Also, there is the looming presence of David Warner at the top of the order as well as the astonishing all-round talents of Glenn Maxwell, who has scored two centuries in his last seven T20I innings.

Maxwell is now the join record-holder for Twenty20 international hundreds alongside Rohit Sharma on five, while he remains a very effective off-spin option with the white ball.

All in all, the rankings may paint a slightly worrying picture, but a deeper look at the situation suggests that Australia are in pretty rude health for the challenge ahead and are level with holders England on 5.00 to win the competition, with only 3.75 India ahead of them.

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