SYDNEY: Defending Champions Australia were branded ‘poor’ on Sunday after failing to make the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals, with local media calling for the fallout to be ‘swift and brutal’.
Aaron Finch’s star-studded side entered the tournament confident of becoming the first back-to-back world champions, but it went horribly wrong from day one.
A huge 89-run loss to New Zealand first and a washout to England took three runs off their tally and then they failed to hit enough with the bat in their three wins.
They finished level on seven points with England and New Zealand in Group 1 but were eliminated due to a lower run rate.
It is only the fourth time in the past 30 years that Australia have failed to make the semi-finals of a World Cup in any format.
“Even though it was close at the end, truth be told, the Aussies never really deserved to make it to the semi-finals,” the Aussie newspaper wrote, calling their defense “chaotic”.
“The fallout from the team’s lackluster effort at a home World Cup would have to be swift and brutal to prevent it from happening again.
“Serious questions will have to be asked about the current leadership and future direction of the team as their performances were not up to par.”
The Sydney Morning Herald said that regardless of England overtaking Sri Lanka on Saturday to get rid of the hosts, “there was little to recommend Australia as semi-finalists”.
“Stuttering victories over Sri Lanka and Ireland qualifiers and second-tier Afghanistan are hardly the basis of a World Cup defence, especially when it has been undermined in of the opening night with a terrible defeat against New Zealand,” he added.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph also added that their tournament “can be summed up in one word: mediocrity”, adding that “the brutal truth is that they didn’t deserve a place in the semi-finals”.
Although the stats are somewhat skewed because the qualifiers played extra matches, no one from Australia set the tournament on fire.
Marcus Stoinis was their top scorer with 126, but only 16th overall, while none of the bowlers took more than five wickets, with Josh Hazlewood (31st) and Adam Zampa (32nd) leading the pack.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell admitted they weren’t good enough.
“We probably haven’t assembled the full game,” he said.
“There were a few games last year during the World Cup where we probably did, I think – Bangladesh, West Indies and Sri Lanka, we played the full game, almost back to back.
“I don’t think we have any hitters in the top five, six, or 10 in scoring,” he added.
“We probably don’t have the highest wicket takers either, it feels like we just nibbled away, chunks here and there.”

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