St Lucia: Australia pacer Mitchell Starc has said that the upcoming series against the West Indies will be a ‘great opportunity’ for the team to start preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and he is personally looking forward to get into a rhythm of T20 cricket.
Australia is currently in the Caribbean for five T20Is and three ODIs against the West Indies and the first match will be played on Friday.
“It’s a great opportunity for the group to start preparing with a bit more focus on that World Cup,” said Starc.
“I don’t think I’ve played 10 (international) T20s in the last four years, let alone in the space of a couple of weeks.
Personally it’d be nice to get into a rhythm of T20 cricket ahead of the World Cup. For the guys working on a few things … it’s a nice opportunity to put those things on show in conditions that will be quite similar to what we’ll face in the World Cup,’ he added.
Australia’s squad is packed full of up-and-comers and Starc says the series presents the chance for them to push for selection at the T20 World Cup.
While Australia is short a handful of first-team regulars, the squad is not short on quality, with cross-format stars Starc and Josh Hazlewood both playing, as well as Aaron Finch (2nd on the T20I batting rankings), Ashton Agar (3rd on the bowling rankings) and Adam Zampa (8th on the bowling rankings).
‘It’s really exciting with some young guys or less experienced guys on this tour. It’ll be a really good opportunity to put their foot forward and take a World Cup spot with 10 T20s in the lead-up, which is fantastic,’ he said.
Notably, the T20 World Cup is the one ICC trophy that Australia’s men’s team has not won.
While Australia’s focus will be on winning in the Caribbean, it also provides captain Finch and coach Justin Langer with the chance to hone in on the make-up of their side for the tournament.
‘It’s great preparation for the World Cup, it’s a good chance to try a few things,” the pacer said.
“We’ll obviously want to try and win the series but it’s also a chance to put a few things in place that we might want to, some combinations or whatnot for the World Cup, so it’s going to be a really exciting series,’ he added.