The Australian cricket team is currently in a tough run of form. Questions are being asked about player selection. The pressure is once again on Justin Langer to prove that he can get the best out of an inexperienced team.
Aaron Finch is now on a plane back to Australia for knee surgery. A significant loss on and off the field. In Finch’s absence, Alex Carey has stood up and will lead the side to what the Australians are hoping will be a series victory in the West Indies.
Australia is in a challenging position going in the final ODI in Barbados tomorrow. After a massive win in the first match, the batsman struggled in game two. If it weren’t for some late order hitting from Adam Zampa and Wes Agar, Australia would’ve been looking at a massive defeat. With the series all square going into the final, captain Alex Carey spoke to the media ahead of the game.
It has been a whirlwind 72 hours for the Australian side, with a positive case being returned just minutes before the second ODI was due to be played. Luckily, the team could get back on the park on Sunday morning to complete the rescheduled match. Carey spoke on the uncertainty of that period.
“It’s something we weren’t expecting a couple of days ago, to be called off the park. The right call was made to get everyone off as soon as possible, knowing there was a test going around indicating it was positive.
“We were told straight away, got off the park into the bus and straight to our hotel rooms for the best part of 36 hours.”
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Once the second ODI was finally played, the batsman struggled most in the second ODI, with the side only making 187 before losing by four wickets. Carey was confident this would be a one-off event while also singing the praises of the bowlers.
“We had a couple of batters in Agar and Zampa score career-high runs; Starc also bowled beautifully.
“The batting group was far from our best in terms of combatting what they threw at us. Their spinners bowled well on a tough wicket that we are looking forward to learning from and playing on tomorrow.”
The most significant talking point around the second ODI was the balance of the Australian side. The question from commentators was why Australia didn’t take advantage of the conditions and add a second spinner to the eleven. Alex Carey was open to the idea of a second spinner while defending the team selection of the second ODI.
“Ashton Agar is certainly someone we are looking to get into the eleven, knowing that Starc and Hazlewood are also ready to go.
“If we look at the first game Starc and Hazlewood took eight wickets between them, so that’s still having a huge impact for us. We’re always looking at the balance of keeping Zampa on. I think tomorrow there’s a great opportunity to add a spinner to the line-up. This has shown it’s a spin-friendly wicket.”
An important consideration for the Australian side is the all-rounders in the side. There is a potential for all-rounders to have more of a bowling impact if a spinner were to come in for the third ODI.
“Mitch Marsh is bowling brilliantly, and we saw that throughout the T20 series.
“However, if we look at the first ODI, it’s hard to change the line-up when you win that convincingly. When you win by 133 runs, you’re backing what you did in that first game going into the second game.”
Alex Carey threw up a left-field option for an ODI spot for the third match.
“We’ve also got Daniel Christian, who offers up a lot of experience. We might talk about him not playing ODI cricket for a while, but there’s a wealth of knowledge. He’s played a lot of cricket and also a lot of cricket at a high level.”
The final ODI begins Tuesday morning, with the first ball being bowled at 4:30 AEST.