Batting depth could see Smith on the outer

Alex Mitchell |

Australia’s scorching-hot form has created exactly the kind of problems the selectors want heading towards the T20 World Cup defence.

Having won 10 of their last 11 T20s, their middle-order dominance is such that Steve Smith could struggle to get back into the line-up after being taken from the field in the second T20 against Sri Lanka following a concussion.

Part of Smith’s problem is the rapid rise of Josh Inglis, whose 40 in Australia’s six-wicket win against Sri Lanka on Friday night sees him top the side’s run-scoring for the series with 132 at an average of 44.

With Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade and Daniel Sams also part of the deep middle-order, Stoinis said the team was looking as strong as it has been for some time.

“Even seeing guys like Dan Sams come in … Wadey and I are talking about having Samsy there and you push guys a little bit up the order,” he said.

“There’s multiple options, lots of people that we all feel within our group are ready to go and ready to fire at international level, and I think that’s a change for us.

“Leading into the World Cup we probably weren’t playing our best cricket … (now) we are looking around the change rooms and we’ve got confidence in every single person.”

But Stoinis was quick to point out the immense importance of Smith, stating his cricket brain always meant he was doing the right thing for the side.

“It gives people confidence we’ve got arguably the best player of our generation there to mop things up with the bat if things don’t go to plan,” he said.

“(If) you do lose a couple of wickets in the powerplay he slides in and you don’t expose someone like myself or (Glenn Maxwell) who are there to play a different type of role.

“(And) he made a couple of 100s off 60 balls in one-day cricket in the last two years … we still don’t forget how quickly he can score.”

Stoinis said a core 15 players had emerged that would form the backbone of the side’s T20 World Cup defence.

The World Cup kicks off in Australia in October.