Australia

  • Last Updated: September 19 2012, 11:57 BST

We take a look at Australia's squad, key players and hopes at the ICC World Twenty20.

Bailey: Australia's T20 captain

Group B Fixtures:
September 19: Ireland at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, 1100 BST
September 22: West Indies at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, 1500 BST

Overview: Australia are an interesting case at the moment. They're not the great side they once were, but are surely not as poor as a slip below Ireland in the T20 rankings suggests. The 2010 runners-up must still be treated with respect.

The team is in flux, and they're blooding new batsmen and bowlers as old hands like Brett Lee have stepped off the international stage. Their pace attack is young, with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc finding their feet, the latter with notable success of late.

Their skipper, George Bailey, is new at the job and international cricket in general, so the win in the final T20I against Pakistan would have given him and the side a massive boost. That win, to avoid a series whitewash, was thanks to more experienced players like Shane Watson and David Warner, and their knowledge of the sub-continent will prove crucial.

As for their group opponents, they've never played against Ireland in a T20I but will be confident of beating them, despite the fact that the Irish momentarily sat above them in the rankings. The West Indies will be a trickier task, as the Caribbean side are high on confidence and have a fairly even record against the Aussies in this format and have a side that could go all the way.

Strengths: The Aussies bat deep, and have experienced players in their top and middle order. Warner is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the game, as he demonstrated in the UAE, and Michael Hussey is a classy yet quick run-scorer. You could also do worse than having Glenn Maxwell in your tail, as the all-rounder is a confident strokemaker despite only playing a handful of internationals. For all that the batting and bowling may not be quite as great as sides of recent vintage, their fielding remains top-drawer - as highlighted recently by Dan Christian's outrageous catch to dismiss Nasir Jamshed of Pakistan.

Weaknesses: Australia are bafflingly inconsistent, which is not ideal ahead of a major tournament where the ability to string results together is crucial. Keeper-batsman Matthew Wade is short of runs which is hurting the balance of the side and Australia's struggles against Saeed Ajmal in Dubai suggest West Indies' Sunil Narine could enjoy himself in their group clash.

Six-hitter: Shane Watson. The opener isn't as consistent in T20 action as he is in Tests or ODIs, but remains a formidable and dangerous opponent for whom no ground is large enough when the mood takes him. Watson has cleared the ropes 47 times in 29 innings in T20 international cricket, and his alliance with David Warner at the top of the Aussie batting order can take any game away from the opposition should both men come off on the same day.

Strike bowler: Pat Cummins. The inexperience of Australia's bowling attack is highlighted by the fact that - even in a format as young as T20 - none of their four leading wicket-takers in 20-over international cricket is in this squad. And the two leading wicket-takers in the squad are batting all-rounders Shane Watson and David Hussey. It all means the outrageously exciting quick Cummins is the attack leader at just 19 years of age, but having ripped out 10 wickets in his first five T20Is there is no reason to doubt his ability to take on the responsibility.

One to watch: Mitchell Starc. The other classy young quick in the squad and Australia's standout player recently in the UAE, taking wickets in every game, including a five-for in the ODIs, on pitches that weren't made for him. He may have only played two T20s, but he kept the runs down against Pakistan even when other bowlers were being carted about, and in the third game he took three for 11 runs in three overs, a superb return that helped his side win the game. Also played a starring role for Yorkshire in the Friends Life t20.

Squad: George Bailey (capt), Daniel Christian, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.