ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Australia v Canada, Group A, World Cup 2011, Bangalore

Hastings in frame as Aussies look to rest Tait

Brydon Coverdale in Bangalore

March 15, 2011

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

John Hastings could be set for a World Cup debut as Australia consider resting Shaun Tait for their match against Canada on Wednesday. However, no other changes are expected, with several batsmen still in need of time in the middle, although there could be a slight reworking of the batting order to give Steven Smith and Cameron White the chance to play a reasonable innings.

Australia have already qualified for the quarter-finals and the Canada game is one of three in the space of seven days, before they hit the knockout stage of the tournament. That might not be a heavy schedule by the standards of first-class cricket, but Tait no longer plays the long format and the Australians are loath to push his body too hard.

"Tait would be the obvious one, three games in a short period of time, he's probably the obvious one to give a break," Ponting said. "If he was to go, then Hastings would come in and then we look at what we do with the new ball, that would create some issues, but that would be the obvious change we'd look at."

Mitchell Johnson would be the logical candidate to share the new ball with Brett Lee if Tait doesn't play, but the Australians prefer to use Johnson as first-change. Whatever they do, they will be keen for a more convincing bowling performance than they served up against Kenya, who lost only three wickets to the attack on Sunday, along with three run-outs.

They also want more runs from White, who hasn't made an ODI half-century since before the Australian summer began, and was bowled for 2 against Kenya, the only batsman to fail. White could move up the order against Canada, in an effort to play him into form, while Smith has faced only 19 balls in the tournament.


John Hastings waits to bat in the nets, Bangalore, February 14, 2011
John Hastings could be given his opportunity against Canada © Getty Images
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"The batting stuff could be relying on how the game is actually going," Ponting said of possible changes to the order. "Haddin, Watson and Clarke at the moment all look pretty good. Myself and Whitey could probably do with more time in the middle as could Steve Smith. Mike Hussey, even though he played well, needs more game time. We'll make sure we have our thinking right for tomorrow."

Australia won't know until the weekend where they will play their quarter-final, with India's match against West Indies on Sunday likely to determine the schedule. But whatever is to come for the Australians after they face Canada and Pakistan, Ponting believes teams will be worried about playing the defending champions when the sudden-death stage begins.

"We've started the tournament really well, all the talk was about India and Sri Lanka and South Africa coming here," Ponting said. "We've been able to sneak under the radar a bit, even the last three or four weeks, so nothing has changed from us. We know we're a competitive team and a good team and if we play our best we'll be hard to beat in any conditions.

"We have to play a bit freer that we did the other night. That was a result of guys wanting to make the most of their opportunity in the middle the other day, once we get some continuity with our cricket you'll see us play better and everyone else can start worrying about playing against us. This is not being silly, but towards the end of the tournament, teams will be fearing playing against us just because of our record in the tournament."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 30 
Posted by OZOZOZOZ on (March 16, 2011, 8:28 GMT)

The Indian selectors seem to have lost a trick here. Is Munaf Patel's and Ashish Nehra's bowling so good that they a)do not need to field and b) Need not score a single run to even save their lives? 1.2 billion Indians and not a single guy who can go above 140 kmph and be a threat?. How long can the Indian team cover their shortcomings with their batting prowess? Cant we find a leg spinner who is more than 5 feet tall? It does make a huge difference when you flight the ball from a feet higher. Also Dhoni's bashing of the team, blaming the batsmen, etc, doesnt augur well for the Indians. Time to find some fresh blood. One more interesting thing that will happen now is the heat is going to cause a lot of exhaustion to the players and the team with the ultimate stamina will win the world cup. You can forget about all the strategies. For that very reason, I fancy Australia or SriLanka to win the cup. Maybe I am wrong-so were the Indian selectors!

Posted by Periya824 on (March 16, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

Instead of white they can give a chance to David hussey as well... He will prove what worth he was...

Posted by   on (March 16, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

Aus vs Pak will be interesting game, Real time to check their ability to play spin, Pak has excellent bowling attach in terms of spin, Pak will have little edge due to ground/Home conditions. I am Pak fan but will defiantly like to see how Aussies will perform.

Posted by Ameega on (March 16, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

If you say, punter, that the other teams worry about Aussie's records, for sure, they would, if you bring the same squad played in 2003 and 2007. On the other hand, if it is the past records create the pressure on the teams, it is Australia under pressure due to their 'wonderful' performance in 2010 / 2011. And Sachin-da-best or someone's comments suggests like the only two teams in this competition are Aus and India. All four quarter finals between Ind and Aus, then two semis between Aus and Ind, then the final between Aus - India. All others are just spectators. Funny stuff... We might be able to see you guys kicking off your great captains after this WC.

Posted by rukidaroker on (March 16, 2011, 6:27 GMT)

@Sachin_is_da_Best He he r u sure that India is gonna win cos i have real doubts about it hmmmmm

Posted by   on (March 16, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

do you guys have any comment on pakistan bowling line up...... its just like a roar of lion

Posted by KayKayeM on (March 16, 2011, 6:08 GMT)

@Meety thanks for the warning mite. Aus has talent , i agree, in batting, in bowling , fielding, and yess sledging.. do they really deserve the world cup?? Seeing was Tait did to Dilshan, does he really deserve to play??

Posted by sss23 on (March 16, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

@Meety: whom do u call as ageing batsmen...Kohli who is 22 or raina who is 24 or Rohit or Pujara....or yuvi (29)...or Dhoni and viru who have just touched 30's...remember batsmen can play till the age of at least 36-37.... what abt Oz? Ponting, clarke, hussey , white, watson all are still in their teens ..right ?so much of cricket left in them ..LOL!

Posted by Rajeev129 on (March 16, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

This is not the right time to do experiments. Think what will be the team composition if Hastings performs well in this game by picking 4 wickets or scoring 20+ runs from single over ?

Posted by Rajeev129 on (March 16, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

I can still remember the super over he bowled to David Hussey in ACL 2010. What a joke, if Ashwin is that dangerous why he has not been picked in playing XI sofar ahead of other bowlers ?

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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