Hard questions after Australia's T20 exit

Australia are set to face hard questions over their white-ball squad after years of planning for a home Twenty20 World Cup were cruelled by an inability to put the foot down when it mattered most.

Australia's fate was sealed on Saturday night with England's tight final-over win over Sri Lanka, ensuring Jos Buttler's men qualified for the semi-finals ahead of Australia.

In the end, Australia finished level with both New Zealand and England on seven points, but with a vastly inferior net run-rate.

Behind the pace from the opening over of their first game against New Zealand, Australia were always going to need to defy the odds to recover from the 89-run hiding from the Black Caps.

And while their fate was somewhat taken out of their hands with a washout against England, Australia can ultimately only blame themselves.

Knowing net run-rate would be a factor after that, Australia let Ireland go from 5-25 to 137 at the Gabba, ruining any real chance of a boost.

Then with a big win needed against Afghanistan, Australia mustered only 8-168 with the bat and left the Afghans to get within four runs of that.

It saved England having to go hard to beat Sri Lanka convincingly on Saturday night, with spinner Adil Rashid admitting the fact net run-rate was not a factor took some pressure off the chase of 142 amid a collapse

"The talk coming into this game was very simple for us," Rashid said.

"All we had to do was win, whether it was win on the last ball or two overs.

"If we needed that 15 or 20 runs to win within seven balls, it would have added that extra pressure because you look at the scoreboard."

Australia had first cast their eyes to a home T20 World Cup in 2016, before the schedule was reworked and the event pushed back two years due to COVID.

And while they won a maiden trophy last year in the UAE, six years of planning for a home tournament has resulted in two weeks of disappointment.

Australia do not play another T20 until August, but between now and then questions must be asked about the squad's make-up.

There is every chance Aaron Finch has played his last game for Australia, after retiring from one-day cricket in September and set to turn 36 next month.

David Warner had a poor tournament and will be 37 by the time of the next World Cup in 2024, while Matthew Wade is 34 and has indicated the home tournament could be his last.

Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Steve Smith, Kane Richardson and Josh Hazlewood are also aged over 30.

Australia must also decide which tempo they want to go with in their batting, after Smith was left out of the team for all bar one game.

Officials are also likely to come under heavy scrutiny for the decision to drop Starc against Afghanistan, particularly given a big win was required.

Many of those questions will likely be addressed before next September, when Australia's white-ball players face a 50-over World Cup in difficult Indian conditions.