Shane Watson feels Australia have the best chance to win the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh. This is the only piece of major cricket silverware to elude the former 50-over world champions. The 32-year-old Watson has been part of four squads that have failed to win the world T20. This time, Watson feels, the Aussies are in pole position.
The most recent Aussie attempt to win the Twenty20 World Cup came in 2012, when Watson was player of the tournament but Australia fell at the semi-final stage against eventual winners West Indies. Speaking to reporters in Durban, Watson said: "This is the best squad we've ever assembled in Twenty20 cricket," said Watson, twice crowned player of the series in the Indian Premier League.
"We've got the most balanced side and balanced (national T20) squad I've ever been involved in. We really do have firepower in our batting order, all the way down to No.10. We've got high-quality opening bowlers, death bowlers and spinners. We have versatility. In all conditions, against any opposition we can match up really well," said the star all-rounder.
"Twenty20 cricket is fickle, but if you have a lot of match-winners in your team you've got more of a chance of it being someone's day," added Watson. Australia's T20 World Cup campaign starts on March 23 against Pakistan in Mirpur (Dhaka).
But Australia could be short on match practice after their first T20 international against South Africa in Port Elizabeth was washed out. With rain expected to play spoilsport in Durban and Centurion on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, Australia's preparations could suffer a blow and Watson admits that. "The more cricket you play as a group, the better prepared you are going to be heading into such a big tournament," he said.
However, Watson said even if the entire T20 series against the Proteas is washed out, it won't be a significant blow to Australia's chances in Bangladesh. "It certainly won't affect our World Cup preparation too much," he said. "We've got a couple of practice matches in Bangladesh. If we do have a week off it'll actually be more a chance to freshen bodies up and really make sure we're ready to go."