Coulter-Nile hopeful of World Cup spot
Nathan Coulter-Nile, the Perth Scorchers fast bowler, stated that his recovery from a hamstring injury he picked up earlier this year had left him with just enough time to make a case for his inclusion in Australia's World Cup squad. The bowler played his first game in nearly five months, taking the field for Scorchers in a Champions League T20 group match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Hyderabad earlier this week.
Coulter-Nile missed most of IPL 2014 after injuring his hamstring while playing for Delhi Daredevils in the UAE. In June, a surgery on the hamstring forced him out of Australia's tour of Zimbabwe. The injury occurred at a time when Coulter-Nile had been on the verge of cementing a place in Australia's limited-overs line-up. He was even called up for a couple of Ashes Tests as a reserve, indicating that he was in line for a place in the team across formats. The bowler, however, admitted it would be tough to break into the side.
"[The injury] Wasn't great timing, I guess, but these things happen. I did miss a couple of tours but am glad to have recovered pretty quickly," Coulter-Nile told ESPNcricinfo. "I think there is just enough time. There is definitely enough time but whether or not I can force my way into that team, it's gonna be tough. We have got plenty of good quicks, so it would be a tough ladder."
Against Knight Riders, the bowler finished with 2 for 41 in a tense game that ended in a three-wicket loss for Scorchers, and Coulter-Nile admitted he felt a little rusty on the field.
"It was good to be back on the park, I guess. [The match] Didn't quite go our way," he said. "Little bit rusty but probably better off to be in it. I am 100% fit. I just need to get a bit of game practice, I guess. Make sure I get back into the groove."
His immediate goal is to help Scorchers keep their Champions League campaign alive. With Chennai Super Kings and Lahore Lions splitting points following a washout in Bangalore on Thursday, Scorchers have to win both their remaining games, including one against Super Kings on Saturday, to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-final.
"I guess once you lose a game, they are all sort of must-win games," he said. "In such a short tournament, you play good teams every game and you have got to win them all. This is a tournament where the best teams in the world play against each other, so there are no easy games and you have to win them all."
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo