ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Aussies confident firepower can get job done
Australia coach says middle-order has the explosive game to post scores above 350 in this tournament
14 June 2019, 05:12 PM AEST
Justin Langer insists Australia's middle order has the strike power to make big scores at the World Cup, arguing the likes of Shaun Marsh can be explosive.
The topic has been a sticking point for pundits both before and during the tournament, with scores among the big nations expected to rise.
England have gone at a run-rate of 6.87, while India's 5-352 against Australia last week was seen as a sign of things to come.
Australia have gone at the relatively high 6.12, but questions were asked after their loss to India and collapse from 2-223 to all out for 307 in Wednesday's win over Pakistan.
With Glenn Maxwell bumped up to No.4, Marsh batted at No.5 in his first game of the tour while Usman Khawaja dropped as low as No.6.
But asked if the middle order had the gears to make scores of 350-plus, Langer said: "No doubt.
"We showed some flexibility with our order (against Pakistan).
"We got (Glenn Maxwell), his strike-rate was high but I would like to see Maxi get a match-changing innings like he's done so many times before.
"We've got a very good batting side and I'm sure the opportunities will come."
Australia changed their selection mindset last summer, moving away from the crash-and-bash style. Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short were axed, with Khawaja recalled.
The approach paid off, with away series wins against India and Pakistan before their 3-1 start at the Cup.
And the coach said there was no reason why the likes of Marsh couldn't become an explosive option in the middle if required.
"I'd argue Shaun Marsh is explosive," Langer said.
"If you look at his T20 record, it's unbelievable.
"I remember seeing him hit 27 off an over off Alex Keath, in the semi-final (of the Big Bash). You've got to be pretty explosive to hit 27 off an over.
"It's exciting having him anywhere in the order and he can hit the ball as hard and as far as anyone in the world."
The bigger question for Australia is Khawaja.
The left-hander averages 53.6 as an opener, but just 23.6 batting elsewhere.
"That comes with experience," Langer said.
"He is used to batting at the top. When you go in (down the order) there's different pressures.
"He's got the most runs in ODI cricket this year. I've got no worries about him adapting.
"And there will be times when he comes on the second ball of the day. I hope it doesn't happen, but he might."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 12: Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
Sync Australia's World Cup schedule to your calendar HERE
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE