Australia have won many 50-over World Cups but never the T20 World Cup. That is the only major ICC trophy that eludes them. Their quest to win it for the first time begins tomorrow against South Africa.
While the previous versions of the Australian units that could not win this competition were chock full of world-class talent, the same cannot be said about the current crop.
The Aussies do have some world-beaters, but not in the same quantity as before. That drop in quality and stature was reflected in their 4-1 series loss to Bangladesh in August.
In their pair of pre-World Cup warm-ups, the Aussies beat New Zealand but lost to tournament favourites India.
That said, despite all their troubles, Australia are one team that can never be taken lightly in a major tournament. They are serial winners for a reason.
In contrast, South Africa’s preparations for the T20 World Cup have been quite impressive. They played a T20I series in Sri Lanka last month in what were supposed to be difficult conditions but won all three of their matches.
Then they won both their warm-ups as well, first beating the tricky Afghans and then the mercurial Pakistan side in a high-scoring match.
Like the Aussies, the current South African unit are also a shadow of their former self but at least they seem to have known their limitations and adjusted to what they are now.