Australia need look at England’s blueprint & adapt it: Steve Waugh


Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh wants Cricket Australia to consider splitting the coaching duties across different formats if the team does not manage to get success at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Four-time ODI World Cup champions, Australia are yet to stamp the domination in the shortest format, with their best performance being the runners-up finish long back in 2010. Coming into the 2021 edition of the tournament, Australia had lost each one of their previous five bilateral series, including the most recent 4-1 loss at the hands of Bangladesh away from home.

In the World Cup thus far, Australia have managed a decent campaign, having defeated South Africa and Sri Lanka. However, the team went down badly against England to dent their net run rate and are in a spot of bother with plenty of work to do against West Indies and Bangladesh to beat South Africa in the race of semi-finals qualification.

However, only a victory against both oppositions won’t ensure Australia that spot as they would need South Africa to lose against England. Waugh believes that Australia have the capability to lift the elusive title if they manage to make it into the knockout round.

They’re going to be judged over the next week. If they get through to the semi-final they can win it, there’s no doubt about that. If they don’t make the semi-finals, then it’s a disappointing campaign,” Waugh told the Herald and The Age.

“I think if it doesn’t go well this campaign we’ll have to sit down and think what are we doing wrong? Why have we fallen so far behind England? They seem to be the benchmark and a long way ahead of the other side. We may have to look at their blueprint, tweak it to suit ourselves and reassess where we’re at.

Waugh was critical of Australia players who opted to not participate in the series in the build-up to the World Cup, as David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Pat Cummins all gave the West Indies and Bangladesh tours a miss after playing the first half of the IPL 2021 due to different reasons.

I think players pulling out of this recent tour didn’t do the preparation any good. It was disjointed. A lot of the players who went on the tours aren’t at the World Cup. It’s a very different side. It’s hard to just push some magic button and say “let’s play well together if we’re going to do well at the World Cup”. It happens over a period of time.”

“Financially, it’s [the IPL] a big part of their income, so it’s difficult to say “you can’t go to the IPL, we want you to play every game for Australia”. There’s got to be a medium there somewhere that suits both.

Meanwhile, on the coaching front of the team, Waugh said: “It’s a big ask for the coach to be away all the time managing three forms of the game, I’m sure Justin will think he can do it. He’s more than capable of it but let’s wait and see what the outcome is. Put everything on the table and reassess.

“I see it [T20] as cricket but it’s almost a different sport. While a lot of the skills are transferable, there’s new skills involved, the game evolves very quickly. You can get left behind if you stick to a certain style of play.