Australia

Clarke (left): Captains Australia in T20 cricket

Clarke (left): Captains Australia in T20 cricket

Australia squad:
Michael Clarke (capt)
Dan Christian
Brad Haddin
Nathan Hauritz
David Hussey
Michael Hussey
Mitchell Johnson
Brett Lee
Dirk Nannes
Tim Paine
Steven Smith
Shaun Tait
David Warner
Shane Watson
Cameron White

Overview

Heavily fancied to win in England last summer (when was the last time Australia didn't arrive at a tournament as one of the favourites?), Ricky Ponting's side suffered an embarrassing early exit.

Beaten emphatically by both the West Indies and Sri Lanka, the Aussies never even managed to make it out of Group C and into the Super Eights - the very least they would have hoped for before a ball had been bowled.

Ponting is no longer in charge of the side now, so it is now up to new skipper Michael Clarke to try and right the wrongs of last time around.

The squad is still packed with talent, both with bat and ball - so can Australia finally get their hands on the one ICC trophy that has eluded them so far?

Strengths

White: Prospered since promotion up the order

Australia are never short of star quality no matter what form of the game they are playing in.

While Ponting may not be playing any more (he averaged just 28.64 in T20 Internationals) the batting line-up still looks mightily powerful, starting with the explosive David Warner and the all-round talents of Shane Watson at the top of the order.

Clarke and Michael Hussey are the mainstays of the middle order while Cameron White, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson are all capable of clearing the rope at any ground in the closing overs.

The bowling has pace aplenty with Johnson, the recalled Brett Lee and former Dutch international Dirk Nannes, while Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith provide the frontline spin options. There are also a plethora of all-rounders to call upon to fill in with a few overs here and there.

Weaknesses

Symonds and Ponting: Both missing from squad

Spin is the major area where Australia have cause for concern, and not just because of what they have available.

Hauritz may be first choice in Test and 50-over cricket right now but he has made just three T20 appearances for his country. Instead it is Smith who seems the favoured option, though he too is relatively inexperienced in the format at the very highest level.

With Andrew Symonds burning his bridges during the last ICC World Twenty20, captain Clarke having issues with his back and White's leggies barely being used, the Australians will once again be dependent on their seam bowlers.

They will also face a trial by spin in their group against defending champions Pakistan and the talented but unpredictable Bangladesh. While hitting pace is no problem, they must work out ways to score off the high number of slow bowlers they are going to come up against.

Six-hitter - David Warner

Warner: Brutal with the bat in hand

Warner has hammered 21 of the 291 balls he has faced in Twenty20 internationals for six, making him an obvious choice as Australia's danger man with the bat.

Don't let the left-handed opener's size put you off - the New South Welshman has arms like Popeye and loves to swing from the off like a home run slugger. He has warmed up for the Caribbean with an impressive season in the Indian Premier League with the Delhi Daredevils.

Strike bowler - Shaun Tait

Tait: Seriously rapid

You can be guaranteed action when Tait has the ball in his hand. The 27-year-old's slingy method means he sends the ball down at a fair old lick, something opposing batsmen can find a help or a hindrance.

Now something of a one-day specialist the paceman has taken 15 wickets in eight T20 appearances, as well as owning an impressive economy rate of just a fraction over seven-an-over.

Look out for...Steven Smith

Smith: All-round option

Australia look to have finally found a replacement for Brad Hogg in Smith - a leg-spinning all-rounder who has quickly risen through the ranks.

Still only 20, the New South Welshman has done enough in five Twenty20 appearances and a single one-day international to be handed a contract by Cricket Australia.

He has not yet had the chance to show off his talents with the bat at the very highest level, managing just 16 runs in his two innings so far.

However it is his ability with the ball that will most interest Australia, who could pick both Smith and off-spinner Hauritz if the surfaces in the Caribbean prove slow.

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