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Australia may have just turned their Twenty20 fortunes around

Australia, South Africa, Maxwell, Warner
Australia played just one T20I in 2015 – a defeat to England – and then lost three successive games to India and one against South Africa (the series opener) this year.

It is not often that Australia are not considered favourites for an ICC tournament. But if their recent Twenty20 form is anything to go by, they are far from it heading into the World T20 tournament in India this month. Despite the shortest format being as unpredictable as it is, it would be a surprise if Australia were even in contention to make the final of the showcase event.

However, with their successful chase of 200+ vs South Africa, the Aussies may have just engineered a turnaround in their T20I fortunes. With the victory, Australia have not only levelled the three-match series at 1-1 but also ended a dismal run of five-straight T20 defeats.

Australia played just one T20I in 2015 – a defeat to England – and then lost three successive games to India and one against South Africa (the series opener) this year. The T2OI brown-wash at home was rather shocking from the Australian point of view. They entered the tournament having thrashed India 4-1 in the preceding ODI series but were blown away by the Men in Blue. This would lead to the sacking of Aaron Finch as captain, with Steven Smith taking over in all three formats.

Australia then travelled to South Africa for their T20I series but were beaten in a captivating first game. After the first innings, the second match too felt like a foregone conclusion with captain Faf du Plessis guiding the hosts to 204. What was an improbable chase seemed impossible when Australia were reduced to 32 for three in the sixth over. But big hitters and T20 experts David Warner and Glenn Maxwell added 161 as Australia clinched a thrilling last ball, five-wicket victory.

Australia can take heart in the fact that they chased down a massive target against a side featuring Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir. They may still not be contenders for the World T20 title in India, but if they claim the series decider in Cape Town it will go a long way towards silencing the doubters.

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