Justin Langer had been doing it tough. Picture: PA
Justin Langer had been doing it tough. Picture: PA

Langer won’t stray from batting plan

AUSTRALIA will stick with the batting game plan that was questioned by Virat Kohli when it chases a 3-1 start to the World Cup against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Coach Justin Langer said he was "really confident" in the tactics that left his batsmen requiring 115 runs from 10 overs against India on Sunday, which Australia lost by 36 runs.

Langer also gave Nathan Coulter-Nile (1/63) a tick, although it has emerged the third-seamer's erratic first overs could see him dropped.

Coulter-Nile has combined figures of 0/43 from his past four first overs in games, conceding nine boundaries.

That stretch covers Australia's three World Cup games plus the warm-up match against England.

Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Lyon put up their hands to replace Coulter-Nile at training in Taunton on Tuesday.

With the World Cup semi-finals still a month away, Langer said it was a "good thing" his team hadn't clicked.

"We've got to keep getting better," he said. "We haven't played the perfect game yet."

Nathan Lyon is pushing for a start in the Australian bowling attack against Pakistan. Picture: Getty Images
Nathan Lyon is pushing for a start in the Australian bowling attack against Pakistan. Picture: Getty Images

Kohli instructed his attack to bowl defensively after sensing openers Aaron Finch and David Warner were protecting their wickets.

"They didn't want to lose wickets, that was the mentality, they wanted to strike big in the end. But I think that was too big a (target) to play like that initially," Kohli said.

Langer pointed out that both innings were structured similarly, with Australia's 3/235 after 39 overs edging India's 2/230.

"I'm not worried about our game style," he said. "At The Oval you can get 110 in the last 10 easy. We're not saying to preserve wickets means you've got to block.

"The philosophy is you can't make runs from the changeroom and if you look at the data there's very little difference in the top 10 overs between most teams, but the wickets are important so you can keep building the platform.

"I'm really confident in our game plan."

David Warner was slow to get going against India.
David Warner was slow to get going against India.

More glaringly, Australia took just one wicket from its first 222 balls and conceded 116 runs at the death.

Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq declared Mitchell Starc "isn't a threat".

Australia will play their fourth game in 10 days on Saturday against Bangladesh, meaning fast bowlers could be rested to help them stay fresh.

The Aussies have won 14 out of their past 15 games against Pakistan.

Australia isn't even staying in the tiny town of Taunton, instead bunking in Bristol and travelling back and forth for training (last night, and most likely indoors due to rain) and Wednesday's game.

The Aussies will spend 8½ hours on their team bus in four days, commuting between Bristol, Taunton and London this week.

News Corp Australia


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