Former fast bowler Brett Lee has picked Australia as favourites to win the T20 World Cup 2021 and has said that David Warner and Mitchell Starc will be key for them. The shortest format world championship trophy is the only one missing from Australia’s cabinet, who have won the Cricket World Cup as well as the Champions Trophy in the past.
“For me, the expectation is that Australia will go and win the tournament. I know they might be high expectations but if you don’t go and set the bar very high, you are not going to succeed,” Lee wrote in his column for the ICC.
“We have not had a lot of success in this format – it is time we changed it and we do have a side that can take it all the way. It obviously won’t be easy, especially when you look at how strong teams like England, India and New Zealand are.”
Warner has been struggling for runs. He scored just 195 runs in IPL 2021 at a strike rate under 108 and lost his place in the XI. He was also replaced as the captain mid-way. In the two warm-up clashes ahead of the T20 World Cup also, he had a dry run, returning zero and one against New Zealand and India respectively.
“But this Australian side is loaded with talent and for me, the key is David Warner,” wrote Lee backing the misfiring Australian opener.
“I would like to say he is saving the runs for the games that count after his IPL form! He was really harshly dealt with there and it may have knocked some confidence out of him but he thrives on the big stage. Everything should be rosy for him here, class is permanent.”
“I will also put a lot of weight behind Mitchell Starc. There has been some debate in the last year about Starc being past his best but he would be in my team every single time, Josh Hazlewood has had a good IPL and Pat Cummins is a superstar. He is the David Beckham of the team, whatever he touches turns to gold!”
Lee felt that KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami could star for “favourites” India and be the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively.
“I think India are probably the favourites with their top four or five batters and their bowling attack. I have KL Rahul down as the top run-scorer in the tournament and Mohammed Shami to be the leading wicket-taker, purely going on the last few months. So if they deliver and India have one of the leading run-scorers and wicket-takers, it’s a good start,” he wrote.