Sydney: Australia will suffer more humiliation and fall behind Ireland in Twenty20 world rankings if they fail to avenge their record first match loss to Pakistan on Saturday.
Only a slender 0.57 of a ratings point separates Australia from Ireland after George Bailey-led side was handed a seven-wicket thrashing by Pakistan with 31 balls to spare, their heaviest loss in terms of balls remaining.
Failure to level the three-game series in Dubai would not only hand Pakistan an unassailable lead, but also result in Australia slipping behind the Irish to 10th on the official ICC table, above only Zimbabwe.
Such a rating would make a mockery of the market forces in the Twenty20 game. While the semi-professional Irish do not have a player on the roster of any Indian Premier League franchise, the 13 Australians in their 15-man World Cup squad commanded more than $US6.4 million in fees at the lucrative 2011-12 auctions.
Many also hold deals in other Twenty20 leagues such as the Big Bash and competitions in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England.
Bailey said his side can recover from the rout, in which Australia made their second lowest Twenty20 total of 89, and win the World Cup, but they have just two more games against Pakistan and two warm-up matches against England and New Zealand to restore their confidence before their World Cup.
“I`m very disappointed and there`s plenty to go away and work on. You don`t ever want to be setting those sorts of records. But in terms of the group we`ve got together and what we`re capable of, it certainly hasn`t altered my thoughts that we can still be a very good team,” Bailey said.
“I still think we can win it. Definitely. Absolutely. I certainly don`t think we`d win if we played like we did today.”
Bailey said he couldn`t pinpoint one reason for the team`s batting collapse.