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Want to structure up closely to how we'll play in the World Cup: Pat Cummins

Last updated on 21 Sep 2023 | 10:20 AM
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Want to structure up closely to how we'll play in the World Cup: Pat Cummins

The Australia skipper has confirmed that Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell will miss the first ODI against India

Injuries have been a major cause for concern for Australia ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023. As things stand, more than half of their squad have been hit with injuries and in a further blow, skipper Pat Cummins has confirmed Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell will miss the first One-Day International (ODI) against India in Mohali on Friday (September 22). 

Starc is nursing a groin injury, while Maxwell, who broke his leg last year, left South Africa early due to ankle soreness and will only join the squad on Friday (September 22). Cummins is however hopeful that Maxwell and Starc will play some part in the series.

Cummins and Steven Smith have recovered from a wrist injury and remain hopeful of playing all three matches ahead of the marquee event.

"We want to strike the balance between getting used to these conditions, hopefully winning some games, but we also don't want to get to that first game [of the World Cup] and already be cooked," Cummins said. 

"No doubt we'll be trying a few different combinations, a few different players will get a chance, but ideally, we'd like to structure up pretty closely to how we'll play in the World Cup.

"So batters batting in similar positions, ... and as a captain, I want to get used to how you use your bowlers over here, it might be a bit different to say South Africa or Australia. Does the second spinner play a part? Hopefully, we get some answers over the next few games."

Maxwell provides balance to the side as he can chip in with some part-time off-spin. Australia have Travis Head in the squad, but a broken hand could dash his World Cup hopes as well.

Cummins is clear that he wants five bowlers in the XI and reckons the more the all-rounder option, deeper the batting depth, too.

"You need five bowlers, so the more all-rounders you have, you can really bolster your batting," Cummins said. 

"It gives us flexibility to pick four genuine bowlers or maybe three bowlers and bat an allrounder at No. 8. Hopefully, Maxi comes back later in the series, but the other three guys have been bowling fantastically."

From Australia's squad, only Ashton Agar is unavailable for the series against India, having returned home for the birth of his child. Teams have until September 28 to submit their final 15 for the World Cup. 

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