Kolkata, Nov 15: Australia skipper Pat Cummins has said Australia will reveal its playing eleven at the toss of the second semi-final of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup against South Africa at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.
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Australia, the five-time World Cup champions, are on a seven-match winning streak. They are all set to welcome back Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell in their playing eleven after missing the final group match against Bangladesh. Australia also has to decide who between Marcus Stoinis and Marnus Labuschagne should be kept in the playing eleven.
"Stoin (Marcus Stoinis) at No.7 gives you valuable overs, but then also is a really aggressive finisher to the innings so you're weighing that up against you know maybe a middle order batter if you think the bowling might not come into it as much and maybe the runs are to be had through the middle overs rather than blasting out at the end.”
"They are things we've got to weigh up. I don't think there's a wrong or right answer. We've got a class squad of people here that feel like we can step in at any time so yeah, we'll work through that," said Cummins in the pre-match press conference.
Talking of Maxwell’s availability, Cummins said, “Maxi’s all clear, he's all good. Just precautionary so still a little bit sore yesterday and we get scans a lot of the time just to make sure that if there is something there, we know what we're dealing with. Fortunately, he came back all sweet, so he's fine.”
South Africa had thrashed Australia by 134 runs when the two teams last met during league stage of the World Cup in Lucknow, but Cummins believes Australia are playing with much more confidence now than what was the case in initial days of the tournament.
"I think we've come a long way since the start of the tournament. The first two games were two tough teams to come up against. And with the bowling, I think we've just got better and better in all phases. So, it feels like we're really well placed. We've obviously played a lot of cricket over the last month and it just feels like everyone knows their role and it's starting to click."
“They're a team we've played quite a lot and know quite well. But as you said, this week it's probably going to be quite different to say the South African series that we just played against them a couple of months ago. What helps us is we've got a lot of guys that have been in this situation before that have won ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup, various other tournaments in big moments.”
“So, I think that really helps. You can draw on that in the middle of the contest. In terms of the wicket, it does look like it's probably going to spin a bit more than some of the other wickets. Which again, is the same for both teams. It might just be a slightly different pace game, but I think it's still pretty evenly matched.”
Kolkata is also expecting some rain to come on match day, as well as on reserve day, and Cummins said his team will be prepared for anything coming their way in terms of weather. “I had a bit of a look at the weather. It's always kind of hard to judge. It seems to change a little bit and one website tells you something and another one tells you the opposite. So, I guess it's something to think about but I mean you can't forward plan too much with the weather.”
“So, we'll turn up, expect to play 50 over match tomorrow, any of that shifts on us well - I'm sure in real time we can kind of adjust as needed. It feels like it hasn't really rained here for the last couple of months so to see the weather for two days looking like that's not ideal. But in terms of short turnaround, it's fine. We've played lots of ODIs where you're playing on Friday, flying to a different city playing on the Sunday. So, it's not too big of a deal. (IANS)