Australia's Marcus Stoinis has suffered a side strain injury. Picture: AP
Australia's Marcus Stoinis has suffered a side strain injury. Picture: AP

Australia tackles tricky selection conundrum

AUSTRALIA face a selection debate with the ongoing injury to seam-bowling all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. Can they go into another World Cup clash with an unbalanced side? 

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have taken nine wickets apiece while the rest of the attack has combined for just 13 in four games.

They have also sent down the most dot balls in the tournament, with Cummins' 153 ranked No.1 ahead of Starc's 128.

"I think we do (have enough support)," Cummins said.

"The last two or three years I've bowled mainly in the middle overs, and I felt like taking wickets is so much harder than in that first 10.

"Richo (Kane Richardson) and Coults (Nathan Coulter-Nile) have played a bit of cricket, but still not heaps and heaps.

"I think they're always going to get better and better. That role in the middle it's so hard to take wickets and that's where someone like Zamps (Adam Zampa) has been great."

Pat Cummins (R) has taken nine wickets so far this World Cup. Picture: Getty
Pat Cummins (R) has taken nine wickets so far this World Cup. Picture: Getty

Australia dropped Zampa from the side which beat Pakistan due to wet conditions in Taunton, although he is a good chance to return against Sri Lanka in London on Saturday.

But Marcus Stoinis will not be fit and so Australia must decide whether to play a second game with an unbalanced side or replace Stoinis in the squad with Mitchell Marsh.

 

Stoinis batted in the indoor nets in Taunton after the 46-run win against Pakistan but it is bowling that is causing him problems.

Captain Aaron Finch was forced to bowl against Pakistan, fluking a wicket from a full toss that Mohammad Hafeez should've hit for six.

If Australia doesn't bring Mitchell Marsh into the squad then Finch or Steve Smith will have to help Glenn Maxwell complete 10 overs, unless Australia plays five specialist bowlers.

Finch has steered Australia to a 3-1 start to the competition.
Finch has steered Australia to a 3-1 start to the competition.

While Starc and Cummins' combined 18 wickets have come at an average of 20.2, the other bowlers are collectively conceding 62.8 runs per wicket.

Pakistan needed just 45 runs from the final six overs with Wahab Riaz and captain Sarafraz Ahmed set at the crease.

But Starc's ninth over contained a double-strike as a DRS challenge swung the match.

An uncertain Finch gestured to go upstairs with just one second left on the countdown timer, and snicko showed Wahab had feathered an edge to Alex Carey.

News Corp Australia


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