Former Australian captain Mark Taylor has played down concerns surrounding Australia’s form after a scratchy win over South Africa in the T20 World Cup opener.
Despite holding the Proteas to just 118, Australia was made to fight tooth and nail with the bat, reaching the target with just two balls to spare.
The win once again highlighted the concerns surrounding Australia’s top order, with David Warner and Aaron Finch again dismissed cheaply, but Taylor said Australia still remains a threat to take out a maiden T20 title.
“There’s no doubt that our troubling area at the moment is our top order,” he told Nine’s Sports Sunday.
“David Warner hasn’t made many runs in the lead-up, Aaron Finch’s been injured with a bad knee and made a duck last night, and Mitchell Marsh at three we’re still not sure about.
“We need two of those three to at least have good tournaments, and hopefully one of them has an outstanding tournament. If that happens, we saw last night that (Steve) Smith, (Glenn) Maxwell, (Marcus) Stoinis in the lower order can get us over the line.
“Our bowling, (Josh) Hazlewood looks good and bowled particularly well last night. We’ve got the players, we just need a little more form.”
Taylor said not much should be read into Australia’s lowly seventh-placed ranking among T20 teams around the world.
“It’s a fickle game, we know that with T20 cricket, and it changes very quickly,” he said.
“Our ranking has fallen but we’re not that bad and no doubt we’re dangerous.”
Taylor believes both Australia’s win over South Africa and England’s win over the West Indies, where both teams bowling first secured wins, could form a trend in the tournament.
“England won the toss and put the West Indies in because I don’t think they’re sure what a good total is going to be,” he said.
“It used to be 160 in 20 overs, but as we saw last night, 120 is not easy to chase down.
“I think we’re going to see more of this – lower scores and everyone on any given day, particularly in Group A, can beat each other.”