Match facts

Saturday, March 14
Start time 1430 local (0330 GMT)

Big Picture

The penultimate day of the pool stage brings Australia and Scotland together in Hobart, with very different immediate futures ahead of them. Scotland's tournament will end with this game and all that remains for them is one last chance to notch up their first victory in World Cup cricket. Australia are guaranteed of a quarter-final appearance but against whom remains to be seen. The possibility of some wet weather late in the day might concern Australia, for whom a wash-out would be the same as a loss.

Australia's stop-start campaign - big gaps between games, one match rained out - has been less than ideal as they build towards the knockout phase. Injuries and form have led them to use all 15 members of their squad, which in one sense is a positive, as any player required for the finals will have some game time behind him. But it also means that a few key men are short of significant time in the middle, and Michael Clarke will likely shuffle the batting order to ensure adequate preparation for all his men ahead of their quarter-final in Adelaide.

Form guide

Australia WWLWW (last five matches, most recent first)
Scotland LLLLL

In the spotlight

It is not unusual for Shane Watson to float up and down the order searching for form, but it is more common in Test cricket that the shorter formats. But having started the World Cup at No. 3, Watson was dropped, and returned at No. 6 against Sri Lanka last weekend. However, Michael Clarke suggested Watson had in fact been pencilled in at No. 5, until Australia's progress in the innings encouraged them to bump Glenn Maxwell up higher. Watson was one of three players mentioned by Clarke as needing more time in the middle, so it is possible Watson's shuffling may continue.

There's a bit of Sheldon Cooper about Freddie Coleman and he had a few "bazinga" moments against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. In the field, Coleman put down one chance at deep midwicket but claimed three more in the same position, and with the bat his 70 off 74 balls - including three fours in one over off Dushmantha Chameera - helped Scotland put up some fight after their early wobbles. Watching the way he batted with captain Preston Mommsen in a 118-run stand, it was hard to believe Coleman had been left out of three of Scotland's previous four games of the World Cup.

Team news

Australia have made one change from the team that beat Sri Lanka, with Pat Cummins included at the expense of Xavier Doherty. The batting order remains to be decided, but could be reworked in order to give some players more time at the crease.

Australia 1 Aaron Finch, 2 David Warner, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Shane Watson, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 James Faulkner, 8 Brad Haddin (wk), 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Pat Cummins

Scotland have sent spinner Majid Haq home, but have 14 fit players to choose from, with Richie Berrington available despite going off the field injured while bowling in the loss to Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Berrington batted later in the game.

Scotland (possible) 1 Kyle Coetzer, 2 Calum MacLeod, 3 Matt Machan, 4 Preston Mommsen (capt), 5 Freddie Coleman, 6 Richie Berrington, 7 Michael Leask, 8 Matthew Cross (wk), 9 Rob Taylor, 10 Josh Davey, 11 Alasdair Evans

Pitch and conditions

Totals of 300-plus have been the norm batting first at Bellerive Oval this summer, and if Australia bat first they would consider that their absolute minimum aim. Worryingly for them, the forecast suggests there could be some showers in the afternoon or evening.

Stats and trivia

  • These teams have met in four previous ODIs - Australia have won them all convincingly
  • This will be Mitchell Johnson's 150th ODI
  • Kyle Coetzer is 29 runs away from becoming the third man to score 1000 ODI runs for Scotland

Quotes

"It doesn't bother me. I've said before it's going to take all 15 squad members to win this World Cup."
Australia's captain Michael Clarke is not concerned about the lack of stability in Australia's XI

"It's a very exciting game for us, to play against a world-champion side. It's something we as a group are very much looking forward to."
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale