Australia sending out mixed signals on World T20

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Sydney, May 7 (ANI): Given their preparation, most of the Australian squad playing one-day cricket on flat tracks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while the world's best players are pushing boundaries of cricket's new frontier in the Indian Premier League in South Africa, questions are being asked about how seriously Australia is taking the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup to played in England.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, 20-20 matches in Australia have been played in an apparent holiday atmosphere with some players rested and others miked up for in-game television interviews.

In fact, outside the last tournament, Australia has never fielded the same Twenty20 team for consecutive matches, and they go in with two recent losses in South Africa.

Coach Tim Nielsen said he and the selectors made sure players knew it was important.

"You can't ignore it. The game of Twenty20 cricket has taken the world by storm, hasn't it? So to be going to a world championships thinking of it as a second-rate event would be a bit silly," he said.

"Just the way the international structure is, it's difficult to get enough Twenty20 cricket. I think we can only play six, which I think is the maximum any side can schedule in a season," he added.

Experience in the format does count for something, although Australia have caught up, suggested Brad Haddin, who will lead Australia against Pakistan.

"I think in the last World Cup guys were still feeling their way in, trying to understand Twenty20; I don't think that's the case any more. One thing you've got to remember with Twenty20 and Test cricket: the best players in the world are still the best players in the world, whatever format of the game you play," he said.

And fine form at the World Twenty20 could have million-dollar consequences. (ANI)

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