ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Australia ring changes for Pakistan clash
Injured Marcus Stoinis replaced as Australia meet Pakistan in their fourth World Cup clash
Louis Cameron at The County Ground, Taunton
12 June 2019, 07:10 PM AEST
Australia have drafted Shaun Marsh into their XI to replace the injured Marcus Stoinis, while Kane Richardson replaces leg-spinner Adam Zampa in a seam-heavy attack as they look to return to winning ways against Pakistan in their fourth World Cup match at an overcast but dry Taunton.
Captain Aaron Finch lost the toss and the five-times World Cup winners will bat first after Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed stuck to his pre-match prediction of bowling first at a venue where the temperature is expected to top out at a chilly 15 degrees today while ominous grey skies loomed overhead.
The change means Australia - who would also have bowled first if the coin fell their way - enter the match with four front-line seam bowlers and no specialist spinner, meaning Finch – who was seen bowling in the nets before the toss – will have to rely on himself, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith to make up the balance of the fifth bowler's overs.
Stoinis injured himself bowling at the death in Australia's 36-run defeat to India in London on Sunday evening, picking up a side strain that has seen allrounder Mitchell Marsh rushed over to England as cover.
Stoinis has not been ruled out of the tournament and will be given time to see how his side strain responds, but his injury and the uncertain weather conditions meant Australia needed a selection rethink.
The loss of the sole seam-bowling allrounder in the Australian squad had upset the balance of the Australian team, and the prodigious wet weather in the lead-up to this match also had Australia pondering some left-field changes.
The inclusion of Richardson gives Australia another noted death-bowling specialist to replace Stoinis with the South Australian joining Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the attack, while Adam Zampa remains the sole specialist spinner in the XI.
On match eve, Finch said Australia were open to replacing Stoinis with a specialist bowler and bumping wicketkeeper Alex Carey up to No.6, a ploy that was eventually discarded largely because the weather had cleared enough to not cause any delay before the coin toss.
"We're going to have to juggle around that allrounder spot," Finch told reporters on Tuesday.
"We've got to find a few more overs now, whether we play the extra batter or extra bowler, we'll wait and see, and especially tomorrow with the conditions.
"It's one of those things we'll have to weigh up and have a look and have a think about it this afternoon and come up with what looks like the best XI to beat Pakistan."
Taunton's drainage upgrade in 2017 appeared to be paying dividends with puddles and pools of water on the playing surface evident on Tuesday had disappeared on the morning of the match.
The UK has already experienced twice the monthly average of rain for June and after matches on Monday and Tuesday were washed out, the ICC released a statement reaffirming that reserve days for group-stage matches were not a realistic possibility.
Australia enter the match having thumped a severely undermanned Pakistan side 5-0 in the UAE in their most recent ODI series before the World Cup.
But Sarfaraz Ahmed's side have since regained seven first-choice players.
The Pakistan skipper suggested on match eve that both sides would likely want to bowl first on Wednesday given the conditions.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson.
Pakistan XI: Imam ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c/wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Hassan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi.
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 beat Australia by 36 runs
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