Aussies put big emphasis on T20 title

Pat Cummins is keen to increase his Twenty20 International experience ahead of the World T20.
Pat Cummins is keen to increase his Twenty20 International experience ahead of the World T20.

Pat Cummins expects to play almost as many Twenty20 internationals in the next year as he has in his whole career as Australia take aim at winning a maiden World Cup in the format.

The Aussies will shift their attention to the 20-over game this month with series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, starting year-long preparations.

Friday marks 12 months to the tournament's opening game in Australia and coincides with the last round of qualifying beginning in the UAE and tickets going on sale.

Australia have 21 T20s scheduled between now and next October, with series against New Zealand, England, South Africa, India and West Indies to come.

That will be crucial for the likes of Cummins, who has played just two T20 internationals in the past two-and-a-half years and only 20 throughout his career.

"Hopefully I will play in most of the games and be in the running for the World Cup in 12 months time," Cummins told AAP.

"If it's a one-off T20 game sometimes I find it tough (to adapt).

"But when there is a real block of T20 cricket like in this series coming up with six games, I find it a bit easier because you can really put your focus into it.

"For me it's probably more like death bowling and variations that you don't bowl that much in Test cricket, or one-day cricket you don't have that too much."

Cummins isn't alone in facing that challenge, with the majority of his T20 cricket previously being played in the Indian Premier League.

Of the nine bowlers and allrounders picked in Australia's squad to face Sri Lanka and Pakistan, only Glenn Maxwell has played more than 30 T20 internationals.

But that's set to change with coach Justin Langer putting a heavier emphasis on next year's World Cup than any previous T20 event.

While the Aussie women have won it four times, the closest the men have come is a loss in the 2010 final to England.

"If you look at all the trophies won, this is the biggest we haven't in men's cricket," Cummins said.

"We have come close a couple of times.

"Knowing what we did here in the 2015 ODI World Cup, it would be pretty special to win one back here on home soil."

It's that home advantage Australia intend to put to use next summer.

"All the guys have played a lot of Big Bash cricket here in Australia and know the conditions well," Cummins added.

"The grounds are a bit bigger and the pitches a bit faster.

"It might be an advantage other countries don't have ... getting a real good crack at the grounds.

"Even with things like the MCG, knowing which areas you can reach with some of the biggest boundaries in the world in certain positions."

Australian Associated Press