If ever you were wondering how much to read into form in the build-up to a major tournament like the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, then last year’s competition was instructive – very little.

Turn the clock back 12 months and Australia looked like they were heading into a World Cup bereft of form and struggling to find answers.

Flying under the radar throughout, Aaron Finch and his men won the whole thing but you can be sure they won’t be able to claim underdog status this time around. There are a number of teams who can justifiably argue that they are the most likely side to lift the trophy, and Australia are certainly one of them.

The series defeat to England will have hurt, they always do, but from a batting perspective, there is not too much to worry about. Glenn Maxwell could do with some runs, but he showed in the UAE that he is the man for the big occasion when he saved his best performance for the final.

The fact that Tim David is the new face in the team is an indication of the stability of the defending champions, and a big reason why I think they could do it again and go back-to-back.

If they are going to do that, the bowlers will probably need to pick it up after the big guns struggled in Canberra, but write off Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood at your peril. Those guys have done it time and again on the big stage, and will thrive in the Aussie conditions.

I’ve been really impressed by Marcus Stoinis over the last 12 months. He impressed when called upon in the last World Cup, but only bowled in one game and batted in four of the seven. This time around, there is a chance that we might see more of him with both bat and ball and his form has been great.

Of course, if David Warner can produce the sort of fireworks we saw at the top of the order in the UAE, then maybe those all-rounders will not be needed that much after all.

You never need any motivation going into a World Cup and the fact it is a rematch of the last final will only serve to sharpen the minds.

The Kiwis will be desperate for revenge and when you consider that England are also in that group for the Super 12, a slow start would be a disaster.

The last thing you want is to find yourself playing catch-up after the opening game. We saw that happen to India last time, and I had my own experience of it back in 2009. Then it was Chris Gayle and the West Indies who put us behind the eight ball, an outing at the Oval I’d rather forget.

So the key will be to hit the ground running in that opener and then to play with a bit more freedom thereafter.

This will be the first time the teams have met in this format since the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 final but Australia did get the better of New Zealand in a one-day series earlier this year.

It would obviously be a little hypocritical to write off any Australian struggles in the build-up but try to place huge importance on a series win in a different format. Still, a couple of those games involved coming from pretty dire positions to take the win, and psychologically that can only help.

Between their experience and the talent with both bat and ball, there is no reason why Australia should not be right in the mix at the business end of the tournament.

And considering this is the first time the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is being played in Australia, expect it to be an amazing event with the crowds cheering on Aaron Finch and the guys – starting with an electric atmosphere at the SCG.

Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.