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‘Tired’ Australia favorites for T20 World Cup: Jos Buttler | Cricket News

MELBOURNE: Australian captain Aaron Finch admitted his team was “tired” and needed to brush up on their defense of the Twenty20 World Cup title, but England skipper Jos Buttler said on Saturday the hosts remain the favourites.
The reigning national champion is withdrawing the showpiece of the cricket tournament on home soil, which starts on Sunday with the preliminary round after a mediocre run of three games against the English.
They lost 2-0, with the third game canceled on Friday-evening due to rain, culminating in eight games for Australia in 26 days, including three in India.
“I think the guys are probably a little tired at the moment,” said Finch after the watered-down England game where he fell for a first-ball duck.
“The program has been so packed over the past six to eight weeks that we determined a few months ago that we want to make sure we can peak at the right time of the World Cup and not before.
“So it’s going to be important in the coming days to try and refresh everyone as best we can.”


Image Credit: T20 World Cup
Buttler, whose team is riding high after a confidence-building build, insisted that Australia was still the team to beat.
“T20 is one of those games that can be unpredictable, but I think history teaches you that the host nation is generally small favorites in big tournaments,” he said in Melbourne.
“Many of us have traveled and played in Australia and know the conditions, but of course nobody will know the conditions or be as used to them as the Australian team.
“They are also reigning champions, so you should probably pick them as favorites for the tournaments.”
Australia still has an unofficial warm-up match against India before taking part in the World Cup Super 12 stage on October 22 in a rematch of last year’s final with New Zealand.
Finch said the players would be given a few days off leading up to “where there is no cricket at all to charge our boys”.
He also acknowledged that England “absolutely outplayed us”.
“With the bat, we were always just one wicket further than we needed to over the whole series,” he said.
“In big series chases you need those in the back of the innings and probably we came up a little short every time with that. All in all we’re not bad, just a little sharper would be nice.”
Despite the series defeat and the grueling build-up to the World Cup, Finch said he was confident his players would be ready for their tough opening game.
“We have no control over what’s already there,” he said.
“We know how hard the guys train. Each person has trained very well individually and as a group we have trained fantastically.
“It’s about guys peaking at the right time and not burning out too early.”

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