Unlike the Home Test series defeat to India around New Year’s, there is a situation that mitigates the 2-3 defeat at the hands of the Black Caps eight months from the T20 World Cup in India.
No doubt the squad is weakened by the absence of top players including David Warner and Steve Smith, who was chosen instead for the South African Test tour which was later canceled by Australia due to health issues.
After leaving quarantine, Aaron FinchThe side lost the first two games but came back to equalize before Sunday’s decider.
“I am very pleased with our endurance through the draw to come back from 2-0 down,” said Finch after Sunday’s fifth T20 defeat by seven goals.
“Even when we lost the second game specifically, we were there, maybe one swing from the pinch. There were a lot of characters from the group.”
The T20 World Cup is the only global cricket trophy Australia has yet to win and they will be confident to compete with full-strength teams in October and November.
Many of the players who are likely to lead them to their maiden title will travel abroad again next month to hone their T20 skills in the Indian Premier League.
India’s fourth Test win over England means Australia will not be contesting the latest global trophy in the men’s match with Virat Kohli’s side who now face New Zealand in the World Test Championships in June.
The decision not to tour South Africa was all but determined Australia’s fate on that score but there was a blockbuster home Ash series later this year to look forward to.
The Australians repaired some of the damage done to their reputation by the Newlands ball smashing scandal with the way they defended the urn in England in 2019.
The combined leadership of captain-coach Tim Paine and Justin Langer that orchestrated the feat, however, was increasingly called into question during and after India’s humiliating Home Test series defeat.
Those questions, as well as the big questions about Australia’s mid-level hitting, will be discussed in the coming months and, for Finch and his New Zealand tourists, there is only one thought when they board their charter flight on Sunday.
“It’s been a long summer for a lot of people who’ve been in the bubble, I know some people in WA (Western Australia) haven’t been home in months,” Finch said.
“We all want to go home and see family and all.”