David Hussey in contention for semi-final
David Hussey could be in line for a recall for Australia's semi-final against West Indies as the selectors consider the value of experience at the business end of the tournament. The allrounder Glenn Maxwell would be the likely candidate to make way for Hussey after he had a disappointing match against Pakistan, but the coach Mickey Arthur said a decision was yet to be made.
Hussey, 35, is the most prolific run scorer in T20 history and only South Africa's Albie Morkel has played more matches in the format than the 189 in which Hussey has appeared. But he was squeezed out of the side at the start of this tournament when Arthur said the Australians had wanted Hussey "to finish games a little bit more than what he has", and instead Maxwell and Cameron White filled positions in the middle order.
Maxwell's opportunities with the bat have been limited in the World T20 due to the success of Australia's top three, but when he did have a chance against Pakistan he advanced down the pitch and sliced the spinner Raza Hasan to backward point. Maxwell, who also dropped a straightforward catch at slip against Pakistan, might yet hold his spot but Arthur said it would require consideration.
"There will be thought given to that," Arthur told reporters in Colombo. "Experience plays a massive part at the back end of a tournament and Dave has a little bit of experience so we'll sit down and give it some real good thought over the next two days and come up with what is best.
"I just want to re-emphasise, Maxy is an incredible talent, he arguably won us the last one-dayer in Dubai ... he's got that bit of match-winner in him. He's been outstanding and he's done nothing particularly wrong. Dave's case is around the fact he is really experienced and he's done a fantastic job in Twenty20 cricket all around the world."
Australia's other selection decision surrounds their attack but Arthur said Pat Cummins and Brad Hogg, both of whom leaked runs in the loss to Pakistan, were likely to retain their positions. Cummins took 1 for 42 from his four overs against Pakistan and Hogg took 0 for 29 from three, and has picked up only two wickets in the tournament, but Arthur said both men would be appropriate picks to face the remaining sides.
"I think we've got the potential to get eight, maybe ten overs of spin," Arthur said. "That's going to be the trend down the line. Against the West Indies I think he [Hogg] has the ability to expose their middle order with a little bit of spin. If you look at the West Indies strike rates they are more susceptible to spin that they are to seam bowling."
"The subcontinent teams don't want to see Pat Cummins hit the deck at 150kph. Against the West Indies, he might just have mix it up just a little bit more. We'll give him all that information and then I'd really like to see him take ownership of that."