|| CF Correspondent ||
Australian pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile is already looking forward to the challenge of the West Indies and a possible duel with formidable opener Chris Gayle.
The defending champions’ second ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match will take them to Trent Bridge on Thursday, with both they and the West Indies tasting wins in their opening contests.
Aaron Finch’s side enjoyed a convincing seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in Bristol on Saturday – but Coulter-Nile is not wasting time setting up the plans for powerful opener Gayle, who is playing in his fifth World Cup.
“Oh Starcy (Mitchell Starc) will knock his off pole out,” Coulter-Nile joked of the 39-year-old Gayle. “It will be easy.
“You know he’s going to hit your good balls for four and hit your bad balls for six. Just keep as bowling as many good balls as you can we’ll stick a few up him.
“I think you just need to be aggressive at him. He’s still smacking them but he is getting older. I don’t know if he’s faced too much of Starcy and Paddy (Pat Cummins) recently but they’re bowling quick. So we’ll see how he handles that early.”
Fast bowling has been an early theme of the World Cup and Coulter-Nile is expecting this game to be no different.
But the quick knows that is not the only weapon Australia have in their bowling armoury with leg-spinner Adam Zampa revelling in a three-wicket showing against Afghanistan in his tournament opener.
“He’s got a few big scalps recently,” added Coulter-Nile.
“You’ve got to give it to the Windies, otherwise they just get on the front foot. We’ll definitely give it to them, we give it to every team. The grounds are so small and the wickets are generally pretty flat.
“We didn’t bowl at the death against Afghanistan but they came back pretty hard. We stuck to our lengths pretty well, we tried to get up then a little bit. On that wicket, 200 you will take that any day of the week.”
Coulter-Nile’s selection was not a given with Australia’s bowling stocks in rude health, affording them the chance to leave out the likes of Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff from their XI.
But having made the most of the opportunity, the 31-year-old is relishing the chance to back up Starc and Cummins on more occasions in this tournament.
“Luckily I got the nod, we’re pretty lucky that we’ve got three pretty good bowlers sitting on the sideline,” he added. “I think it’s good, it’s good to have competition for your spot. Especially with the guys sitting on the bench.
“If they take early wickets my job is just to keep going, bowling second is a real advantage to me, I know I’m either defending or attacking. They set the tone and I just come on and try and follow them.”
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