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Cricket World Cup 2019

Brad Haddin admits in-form Australia have not found their best XI

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Brad Haddin, Australia’s assistant coach, has said the current World Cup table-toppers are still unsure of their best XI despite four wins from five matches.

Barring a lone defeat at the hands of India, Australia have been clinical thus far in their defence of the World Cup title, which they won for a fifth time in 2015.

However, Haddin acknowledged that an injury to Marcus Stoinis, who sustained a side strain during the defeat to India, has disrupted the balance of the side with the group stage of the tournament now beyond the halfway mark.

Marcus Stoinis’ injury has severely weakened Australia’s bowling arsenal

“At the moment, we’re still trying to find that best XI,” he said. “Marcus has thrown a spanner into everything there with his injury and how important an all-rounder is.

“We’re still trying to find what works best for us. Come later in the tournament, we’ll start to understand what the conditions are like a lot better and what our best XI [is]. At the moment, we’re not settled on our best XI.”

In Stoinis’ absence, Australia dumped leg-spinner Adam Zampa to accommodate an extra batsman in Shaun Marsh. With Nathan Lyon yet to feature at the tournament Glenn Maxwell, still a part-timer despite shouldering more responsibility as a bowler lately, has been left to play the role of front-line spinner. But Haddin denied that Australia were overly worried at the moment.

“We’re not too concerned about it all,” he said. “One of the things we spoke to the squad about is we need to be a flexible squad to win a World Cup. The players understand that and we’re training them accordingly. We make sure each and every player is ready for game day.

“I don’t think it’s a concern, you’d like to start getting your team [right] at the back-end of the tournament. I think one of the luxuries at the moment is we’re still winning, and we still haven’t found the perfect rhythm for our game, which is a dangerous sign.”

As for Stoinis, the all-rounder had a lengthy bowling session in the Trent Bridge nets on Monday, June 17, but there is no definitive word yet on when he can return.

Time is running out for Stoinis to prove his fitness, with Mitchell Marsh already having been roped in as cover, although he is yet to be named as an official replacement, as doing so would rule Stoinis out of featuring again.

“He had a light bowl today and he’ll have a better run around tomorrow at the main session,” wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey told RSN.

“Mitch Marsh is here as well, ready to go, and in really good condition. Hopefully, Marcus gets up. It’s such an important role and he’s done such a great job for Australia over the past 12-18 months as well.”

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