An injury to Marcus Stoinis led to knock-on changes for Australia’s line-up.
An injury to Marcus Stoinis led to knock-on changes for Australia’s line-up.

Changes ‘a strength not a weakness’ says Langer

AUSTRALIA  insists its shuffling batting order and willingness to change selection is a strength built on adaptability rather than a team that is plugging holes deep in a World Cup campaign.

Captain Aaron Finch admitted that seam all-rounder Marcus Stoinis's injury helped push spinner Adam Zampa out of the team and then assistant coach Brad Haddin said the setback had disrupted team balance.

But Stoinis is likely to return from a side strain against Bangladesh on Thursday and coach Justin Langer was confident that several different formulas could win the World Cup.

"It's actually really exciting, I said at the start of the tour we had lots of options and we're very adaptable - that's our strength, not our weakness," Langer said.

"I get the sense that some people think it's our weakness, but I just think it's our strength.

"We can play according to oppositions, we can play according to grounds and we can play according to managing players."

Bangladesh is hunting a semi-final place after stunning South Africa and West Indies and pushing New Zealand.

Yet just three months ago about 10 of its World Cup players were nearly victims in the Christchurch mosque shootings, which occurred the day before a Test match that was cancelled.

Adam Zampa has not featured in the last two Australia matches at the World Cup.
Adam Zampa has not featured in the last two Australia matches at the World Cup.

The players were on a bus to that mosque to pray, but media and social activities led to a fortunate delay.

West Indies legend Courtney Walsh is helping Bangladesh plot a shock win as its bowling coach.

It has emerged that Australia was considering abandoning its 12-month spin project and sticking with the four-pronged pace attack that delivered the 2015 World Cup.

Zampa was hit out of the attack by India and has not played the past two games while Nathan Lyon has been overlooked in all five matches.

Langer said the pitch at Trent Bridge "looks pretty dry" and the Aussies are considering again overlooking both specialist spinners.

While Stoinis's injury helped pushed Zampa out of the team, a deeper analysis has showed the effectiveness of pace at the World Cup.

"What was really exciting was how our two quicks took wickets in the middle overs," Langer said.

"We know in one-day cricket you've got to take wickets in the middle overs.

Nathan Lyon is the only member of the 15-man squad yet to feature for Australia.
Nathan Lyon is the only member of the 15-man squad yet to feature for Australia.

"There's not many wickets falling upfront in this tournament, and the way our quicks pulled it back in the middle overs against Pakistan and Sri Lanka was brilliant.

"In fact, it's been pace that's dominated the tournament. Over the last four years it's been more spin that's dominated one-day cricket, here it's been more pace.

"That might change - it's been wet, it's been overcast - as the wickets get a bit drier throughout the summer."

Langer and assistant coach Ricky Ponting said pre-tournament that Australia's World Cup campaign would be defined by how it bowls and faces spin.

While Langer said he could play two spinners in Manchester against South Africa on July 6, that won't happen on Thursday.

Test great Lyon is the only member of Australia's 15-man squad yet to play, but Langer wasn't worried.

"He's in the right space," Langer said.

"He's a great bowler, he's a professional and he'll be ready - if the opportunity comes."

News Corp Australia


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