ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Aussies ponder spin temptation for Windies clash
An unchanged line up may be the best recipe for Australia against the West Indies, according to coach Justin Langer
Louis Cameron in Nottingham
5 June 2019, 07:35 AM AEST
Australia look set to field an unchanged side for their crunch World Cup clash against West Indies at Trent Bridge, with coach Justin Langer suggesting they will resist the temptation to recall Nathan Lyon – for now.
Drizzly Nottingham weather brought an early end to Australian training two days out from their showdown with a resurgent Windies outift, meaning the pitch – the same one that was used for Pakistan's thrilling win over England – spent most of Tuesday under covers.
Lyon's return to play alongside leg-spinner Adam Zampa is inevitable at some stage during the tournament, but Langer said the Aussies are unlikely to tinker with the XI that defeated Afghanistan by seven wickets on Saturday.
"I think we're going with the same team," Langer told reporters. "We haven't had a look at the wicket yet, but my gut feeling is … the same XI."
Langer admitted the left-hand heavy West Indian top order – four of the top five that played in their comprehensive win over Pakistan at this same venue were lefties – had advanced Lyon's case.
The off-spinner thrives against southpaws – in Test cricket, he averages 24 against lefties (compared to 37 against right-handers), while his economy rate in ODIs is significantly lower against lefties than to righties (4.3 runs per over compared to 5.1).
"There is (temptation to play Lyon) because there are the left handers. That said, we probably won't bowl two spinners here against the West Indies," Langer said.
"Every game there is thoughts about playing Nathan Lyon, but Adam Zampa is doing a really good job for us. Adam Zampa is a very good spinner. (Off-spinning allrounder) Glenn Maxwell is bowling well, so hopefully we have some balance there.
"Some of the other grounds we might look to play two spinners where the matchups for the off-spinner will be more appropriate, but properly not here."
Langer noted that Nathan Coulter-Nile, the man most likely to make way for Lyon, was improving game-by-game, while fellow quicks Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins each took wickets in their first overs to help the Aussies bowl Afghanistan out with 11.4 overs to spare.
The reigning 50-over world champions did however identify the middle overs as an area for improvement with the ball after the plucky Afghans smashed seven sixes in a 51-ball period between overs 29 to 38.
Trent Bridge has been a batting haven in one-day cricket in recent times. The two highest scores in ODI history have been struck by England here, with last year’s world record 6-481 still fresh in Australia’s memories, while both Pakistan (8-348) and England (9-334) both went big at the venue on Monday.
“The wicket here is pretty good, the outfield is fast. The squares are fast as well,” Langer noted. “We just have to adapt a little bit to that. But our blokes have spoken about that and they'll be ready for it.”
Australia don’t expect any punches pulled by the Windes, who boast the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell in their batting line up.
Reserve quick Jason Behrendorff has dismissed Gayle, the most prolific six-hitter in World Cup history, in every game he's played against him.
Although the left-armer is likely to remain on the sidelines, the Aussies will have detailed plans to curtail the destructive Jamaican opener.
"He's been a brilliant player for a long time, (he is) dangerous, we all know that," Langer said of Gayle. "He'll have his plans against our bowlers; we'll have our plans against him as well.
"They got a number of dangerous players. With him (Gayle) on the team they seemed to grow a leg. They take confidence from him. Hopefully they don't take too much confidence on Thursday."
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 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
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