However, it was a very quick turnaround for the squad, especially those involved in the CPL final, who barely had 24 hours in Australia. However you connect Guyana to Gold Coast in Google Flights – the latter group came via New York and Dubai – it’s not an easy journey.
Hetmyer’s travel problems and subsequent sacking from the squad contributed to what was already a selection that had sparked much debate amid the absence of Andre Russell and the continued non-selection of Sunil Narine. However, in their favour, they are coming off an ongoing stint of T20 cricket in the CPL and several in the squad enjoyed an impressive tournament.
Australia, meanwhile, are trying to fine-tune their plans after India’s 2-1 series loss, which included some high-quality batting, but in conditions unlikely to have a major impact on this World Cup. There are some nagging injuries around the squad, which threaten to become a slightly bigger problem than initially appeared. But now that bubbles are a thing of the past, Australia knows they have the advantage of being hosts and can easily summon players if needed.
(last five games, most recent first)
West Indies WLLLL
With Marcus Stoinis not part of the squad and Marsh playing only as a batter, Australia will likely have to find room for a fifth bowler, which deviates from their balance from the last World Cup. It could represent an opportunity for middle-class Green, or Daniel Sams, who has more experience in that role. The domino of that would mean that a frontline batter, perhaps Steven Smith, is out.
Australia (possibly) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Tim David, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Daniel Sams/Cameron Green, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Seven of the West Indies squad were part of the CPL final and Pooran said they would call the XI on match day based on how the players had left the trip. But some will have to play. Shamarh Brooks, who has replaced Hetmyer, will not be attending the Australian games.
West Indies (possibly) 1 Brandon King, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Johnson Charles, 4 Nicholas Pooran (capt & wk), 5 Rovman Powell, 6 Jason Holder, 7 Odean Smith, 8 Akeal Hosein, 9 Yannic Cariah, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Sheldon Cottrell
“You don’t really know what you’re getting until the game starts,” said Aaron Finch of what the drop-in pitch at Metricon could bring. “Looks like it cured overnight. Yesterday it was a little soft.” The forecast is for outside chance of a shower.
“It’s been quite hectic weeks with the ODI series coming straight to India. But it’s been a lot of fun. I think we’re starting to learn a lot more about the squad and keep developing depth, all with one eye on the world.” Cup.”
“We understand that we don’t have that much experience in the hall. But we’ve been playing cricket together all year, so we understand each other a little better now.”
Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
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