Australia makes 1 change for World Cup match vs Scotland
HOBART, Australia (AP) — Paceman Pat Cummins will replace spinner Xavier Doherty in the only change to Australia’s starting lineup for its last Pool A match against Scotland at the World Cup on Saturday.
Doherty was brought into the team for its 64-run victory over Sri Lanka last weekend in Sydney but was dropped when selectors opted for an all-seam bowling attack to face Scotland on the smaller Bellerive Oval. Cummins was preferred over fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood.
Captain Michael Clarke said the status quo may not be maintained when the four-time champions play their quarterfinal match on March 20 in Adelaide, adding it would be “silly” finalizing a starting lineup a week before the game.
“We don’t know what we’re going to get in Adelaide — we don’t know what the wicket will be like; we still don’t know who we will be playing against,” Clarke said Friday. “I think we assess that next week or in a few days.”
Clarke also said Australia’s batting lineup will undergo a reshuffle on Saturday.
“I think the order will be a little bit different as well to try and give guys a hit ahead of our quarterfinal,” he said.
In Australia’s last match against Sri Lanka, Steve Smith came in at No. 3 and Shane Watson was listed at No. 5 but dropped a place during the game to make way for Glenn Maxwell.
Scotland comes into the match on a 13-match losing streak at three winless World Cup tournaments, but captain Preston Mommsen said the mood in his camp is positive.
“We know we are up against it tomorrow again, against a quality side, with a very strong lineup,” he said. “It’s something that as a group, we are looking to embrace the experience ... it’s very exciting for us. We have to stay level, stay composed for as long as possible and find a way into the game as early on as possible.”
Scotland has lost all four matches it has played against Australia, including by 200 runs the last time the teams met in Edinburgh in September 2013.
Australia set World Cup records for biggest total and biggest winning margin the last time it played one of the Associate — or second tier — teams in the tournament. That was against Afghanistan in Perth.