Ashes rivals' pace threats may be neutered by conditions

A low and slow Barbados wicket block that will see heavy traffic in the first round could impact selection thinking for the clash with England

The worn Kensington Oval pitch block that will host its fifth match in a week for Australia's T20 World Cup clash with England may not necessarily suit either of the two teams' blistering pace attacks.

That's the opinion of Marcus Stoinis, the all-round star from his side's tournament-opening win over Oman as he came to terms with the capricious Barbados surface better than any other player through three matches there so far.

Stoinis was named player of the match after rescuing the Aussies' stuttering batting innings with a six-laden 36-ball 67no before snaring 3-19 with the ball to consign Oman to a 39-run defeat on Wednesday evening (Thursday AEST).

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"Maybe the more pace on the ball maybe the truer it will play," the 34-year-old allrounder told reporters.

"I think we saw today that the bowler who got a few to kick was the guy who was bowling medium pace – me. So maybe a bit more pace on the ball it might skid on. Hopefully it's true.

"(The pitch) wasn't a shock. I think from watching the games so far, it seems that's going to be the theme of the tournament … it just took some getting used to."

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Another slow surface could take the sting out of what threatens to be a fire-against-fire contest between the rivals on Saturday (Sunday 3am AEST).

England have finally gotten their 2019 and 2023 Ashes pace stars, in Jofra Archer and Mark Wood respectively, fit at the same time for a major tournament with both showing encouraging signs in their washed-out match against Scotland earlier this week.

Australia will have decisions to make over the composition of their own pace attack after leaving out Pat Cummins for the Oman match and Mitchell Starc failing to complete his final over due to cramp in his legs.

Captain Mitch Marsh insisted there was "no need to take unnecessary risks at this stage of the tournament – (Starc) is fine". A risk-free outlook from selectors could then persuade them to rest the left-armer for the England game if there's a heightened chance of injury.

Cummins is fit and had been tipped as a certainty to face England. But his replacement Nathan Ellis bowled tidily against Oman and his skiddy style appeared to suit the pitch's low bounce.

With the bat, Marsh admitted the Australians have already readjusted their sights away from pre-tournament predictions of monster totals like the ones scored in the recent Indian Premier League.

"It's going to look a bit different this tournament – we're probably not going to get the 200-plus wickets," Marsh told the host broadcaster. "We're going back to the old T20 style a little bit."

Stoinis' strong start to the World Cup comes on the back of a strong IPL campaign with the Justin Langer-coached Lucknow Super Giants, highlighted by a stirring unbeaten 124 from only 63 balls against Chennai.

He insists he has no issues with switching back from batting largely at No.3 in the IPL to further down the order for Australia.

A bigger shift is his role with the ball at international level. He sent down just 14 overs for the tournament for Lucknow, with the impact player substitution rule lessening many teams' reliance on their allrounders to bowl their quota.

But with Marsh unable to bowl through the early part of the tournament as he recovers from a hamstring injury, Stoinis will shoulder a bigger load at the bowling crease in the Caribbean.

"I love to bowl," Stoinis said. "I'm happy with whatever. I feel a better player when I’m in the game and so hopefully I get a chance to bowl this tournament."

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