Sport Cricket Don’t blame T20 loss on bowlers: Bailey

Don’t blame T20 loss on bowlers: Bailey

Australian cricket team
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Darren Sammy thumped consecutive sixes to all but knock Australia out of the World Twenty 20, but saved the most telling blow for the post-match press conference.

He had just executed a remarkable comeback victory on Friday, blasting an astonishing 34 off 13 as the West Indies pulled off an unlikely chase of Australia’s 179-run target to secure a six-wicket win.

The towering sixes, which secured the win with two balls to spare, came off combative Australian allrounder James Faulkner, who in the lead-up to the all-important fixture declared he disliked the West Indian team.

“Talk is cheap,” the affable West Indies captain said of Faulkner’s pre-game taunts.

“Cricket is a game of action. You could talk all you want, but it is the action that happens on the field that matters. West Indies acted today, it feels very good to come home.”

Not the bowlers’ fault

It would be easy to pinpoint the final three overs of Australia’s stunning World Twenty20 loss, where 48 runs were leaked, as the cause of the defeat.

Too easy, Australian skipper George Bailey argues, because foundations of the loss had been laid long before Darren Sammy sent the antepenultimate ball of the match into a delirious Dhaka crowd.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle pummels the Australian bowlers. Photo: Getty

But Bailey struggled to blame his left-arm pace trio of Doug Bollinger, who gave up 11 runs in the 18th over, Mitchell Starc, who leaked 19 in the 19th, or James Faulkner, who coughed up the consecutive sixes which ultimately saw the Windies pass Australia’s target of 179.

Instead Bailey pointed to another lacklustre batting display, which was flattered by another blistering Glenn Maxwell cameo (45 off 22) and valuable runs to Brad Hodge (35), as well as more sloppy fielding.

“I think your mind tends to track back to the most recent thing in the bowling (as the cause for the loss),” Bailey said.

“But once again I don’t think we batted particularly well.

“Just having a quick think about it then I think all of the top six played pretty ordinary shots – poor shots at inappropriate times.

“I think the fact that we scraped to 178 was pleasing given that I don’t think we batted particularly well.”

Bailey felt more ordinary fielding, which was so costly in their loss to Pakistan, let Australia down immensely as well.

Chris Gayle smashed 53 off 35 balls to get the run chase off to a flying start – but he could have been dismissed for 26 when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin missed a relatively simple stumping chance.

But there were other, less noticeable, errors that hurt Australia.

“Once again we probably let ourselves down in the field with some chances,” Bailey added.

“That comes back to bite you harder in T20 than most formats. The repercussions of that are so instant.

“I’m sure there’s things we can do differently with the ball and there’d be guys who’d like to have better overs again and do something a little different.

“But I don’t think you can lay the blame just on the bowlers. Certainly all three disciplines were once again not up to the standards that we’ve set.”

Despite facing the likelihood of being bounced out of World T20 in the group stages, Bailey insists that there aren’t many areas that need to be addressed urgently.

“The balance (of the team) is right, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“We’ve just lost two close games in a tournament where you can’t afford to lose two close games.”