Australia, 12 months after being crowned champions for the first time, are ready to defend their title on home soil as the countdown continues to the start of the T20 World Cup 2022.
Australia waited 14 years to finally get their hands on the T20 World Cup and Aaron Finch's men are in no mood to give it up after just a year.
The Aussies, the sixth different winner of a tournament which has been contested just seven times, have home advantage to spur them on – though they will be acutely aware that a host nation has never lifted the trophy in front of their own fans.
Finch leads a vastly-experienced squad including world-class stars of the calibre of Steve Smith, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell, and they are 3/1 to win the cup.
T20 World Cup 2022
16th October - 13th November, 2022
|How to watch:|
India 3/1, Australia 3/1, England 4/1, Pakistan 7/1, South Africa 8/1, New Zealand 8/1
Ever-presents Australia reached the semi-finals of the first tournament in 2007, were runners-up to England three years later before making the last four again in 2012.
Then, after a pair of group-stage flops, they were crowned champions for the first time last year, crushing New Zealand by eight wickets in the final in Dubai.
|Semi-finals||2007 & 2012|
The Aussies begin their Group 1 campaign against neighbours New Zealand at the SCG in Sydney on 22nd October.
The Baggy Greens will also face England (in Melbourne on 28th October) and Afghanistan (that's at the Adelaide Oval on 4th November), plus two qualifiers from the first round.
Former all-rounder Andrew McDonald succeeded Justin Langer as Australia's head coach on an interim basis in February – (immediately guiding his side to a T20 home series win over Sri Lanka) – before being appointed permanently in April.
A regular as a player in the IPL and Big Bash, he enjoyed a successful spell coaching in domestic cricket and was part of the Australian coaching set-up who won last year's T20 World Cup.
|Big-hitting batter:||Aaron Finch|
|Death bowler:||Mitchell Starc|
|Breakout star:||Tim David|
As the only man to have cleared 150 twice in a T20 international – he boasts the current record score of 172, smashed off hapless Zimbabwe in 2018 – Aaron Finch is a truly brutal opening batsman.
He has also played for nine IPL franchises and captained Melbourne Renegades to Big Bash glory. His pedigree is beyond question.
However, the hugely-respected 35-year-old has been in poor form through 2022, prompting him to retire from the one-day team.
Glenn Maxwell has come off a disappointing tour of India though you write the man they call X-Factor off at your peril.
One of the cleanest strikers of a ball in world cricket, he has also made the unconventional stroke conventional which makes setting fields for Maxwell a real challenge to opposition captains.
Australia are also blessed with numerous death-over options, with the left-arm swing of Mitchell Starc making him one of the best in the game.
Power hitter Tim David has become one of the game's most destructive finishers.
The former Singapore star faced just 86 balls in the 2022 IPL, belting 16 of them for six, and the 26-year-old, the youngest man in the Aussie ranks, boasts an incredible strike rate of a shade under 160.
As reigning champions playing on home grounds that they know so well, Australia are rightly among the leading contenders and rightly confident they can become the first nation to successfully defend the T20 World Cup.
Skipper Finch and Maxwell boast among the highest-ever T20I scores – and are in a select group to have scored more than 2,000 runs – and the experience doesn't end there, with fiercely competitive class acts such as Steve Smith, David Warner, Starc and Matthew Wade adding bags of knowhow and ability.
Adam Zampa, their leggie and among that rare breed of bowler with an economy rate under seven, is the type of bowler who should flourish on hard, bouncy surfaces – he has 74 T20I wickets – and could easily upstage his team-mates for top Aussie wicket-taker honours.
This is a well-balanced unit who have played together for years and it's hard to see them not making the semi-finals.