By: Chinmay Vaidya
Australia's T20 series against Pakistan was about as big of a debacle as it could've been. A clean sweep at the hands of Pakistan is disheartening enough, but the way in which it occurred was even more devastating.
Across three matches, Australia's highest run scorer was Nathan Coulter-Nile. Nathan freaking Coulter-Nile. In case you weren't already aware, he's a bowler. He's not supposed to score runs, certainly not at the rate that he did. You're probably assuming things couldn't have gotten worse for Australia given this statistic, but you'd be wrong.
Veteran batsman Aaron Finch, a mainstay at the top of the T20 order for a good part of seven years, managed to muster four runs in the three-game series. D'Arcy Short, his opening partner, put up 16 runs. Australia can't get David Warner back fast enough.
The Australians took 19 wickets in the three games, showing some semblance of a bowling attack without Mitchell Starc. Young seamer Billy Stanlake picked up five wickets and IPL star Andrew Tye added four, which represented a glimmer of hope in an otherwise black hole of a series.
We all expected Australia to struggle without Warner, Starc and Steven Smith, but this type of result is not normal. Teams don't usually fold this easily and certainly not teams like Australia that have a pipeline of talent ready to take over. When the superstar trio does come back, Australia should be back in the realm of contention. For now, the team will have to find a way to regroup for a home series against a strong South Africa squad. Things might continue to get ugly.