Australia highlights positives in poor T20 World Cup build-up after advancing to final against New Zealand

Australian coach Justin Langer says the poor build-up of his squad to the men’s T20 World Cup has actually benefited them by developing greater depth.

The Australians – who have never won a men’s T20 World Cup – were not inclined to figure prominently at the show event in the United Arab Emirates and Oman due to losing five consecutive Twenty20 series.

Those losses included series in the Caribbean and Bangladesh where Australia launched depleted squads as several frontline players sat.

But Australia qualified for the men’s T20 World Cup final, with New Zealand its opponent in Dubai on Monday morning (AEDT).

A win over Pakistan in the second semi-final saw Australia go through.

Australia progressed to the tournament after beating Pakistan in their semi-final.(Getty / ICC: Gareth Copley)

Langer said improving the depth of his squad was positive to come out of the disappointing results against the Caribbean Islands and Bangladesh.

“There was a reason why our shape on the surface was not what we would have liked,” Langer said in a media conference on Friday.

“We had a lot of great faith in the squad, a lot of great faith in the preparation we had. The tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh … were brilliant for the depth of our squad and for Australian cricket.”

Langer said fast bowler Josh Hazlewood gained invaluable match practice during the tours, while all-around Mitchell Marsh used them to join the World Cup squad and was later a key player for Australia.

“It’s more fun to win than to lose, I promise, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s about this World Cup tournament; so far, the pieces of the puzzle fit pretty well,” he said.

Sunday’s clash will be a rematch of the 2015 ODI World Cup final, which Australia has largely won on home soil.

ABC / Reuters


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