Australia’s Super 12 position at the T20 World Cup is similar to that of last year’s victorious campaign, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell said, predicting his team would make the semi-finals again with comfortable victories in their last two matches.
Aaron Finch’s men thumped Bangladesh and West Indies in their last two group matches to make last year’s semi-finals and went on to win their maiden T20 world title in the United Arab Emirates.
They are part of a four-team log jam in Group 1 on three points, following defeat by New Zealand, and having to split points with England after Friday’s match in Melbourne was washed out.
“We’ve got Ireland and Afghanistan. If we can do our job during those two games and try and win those comfortably,” Maxwell told reporters on Saturday of their knockout chances.
“It’s pretty similar to where we were last year when we’re waiting for the last couple of games to see … if we were going to make the top two.”
Describing the competition as “brutal”, the all-rounder pointed to how quickly batters like his team mate Marcus Stoinis and New Zealand’s Finn Allen had turned a game on its head.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we can stop the opposition from having that effect and then for our own players, we’re trying to have that effect on the game.”
Australia face Ireland on Monday before wrapping their Super 12 campaign against Afghanistan on Nov. 4.
Net run rate is likely to determine the top two sides from the group, but Maxwell said the immediate target would be to win the remaining matches without getting bogged down by the numbers.
“If you go into the match thinking about net run rate, it can make it really difficult.
“Looking back to West Indies and Bangladesh games last year … before the game there was not any talk about net run rate.
“Once we got into a really strong position … then the conversation can start about ‘OK, let’s try to do this really fast.'”
Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who had contracted COVID-19 along with spinner Adam Zampa, tested negative on Saturday.