Aussie star facing World Cup axe

Oh how quickly one can fall from grace.

In Australia’s World Cup battle against West Indies Nathan Coulter-Nile was every bit the hero as he belted a quick-fire match-turning 92 runs to rescue Australia; s innings.

Now he’s a very real risk of being dropped for the match against Pakistan as coach Justin Langer revealed he will consider playing two left-arm quicks with Jason Behrendorff a chance to come into the side.

Langer defended Coulter-Nile following his performance against India, but revealed he considered bringing in Behrendorff at The Oval, and Coulter-Nile has taken just one wicket for 169 runs across three games.

It represents a bigger issue in the side, with the drop off after Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc notable following a lack of early wickets in the loss to India.

“We thought about it (playing two left-arms on Sunday), actually, the match ups against India,” Langer said.

“But we just felt with Coults, after his man-of-the-match performance and what he gives us as an all-round package we went with him.

“But I can see (playing Starc and Behrendorff together in the tournament), I can definitely see that. I know that Pakistan play two left armers.

“So Jason was close (to playing) but Coults got the nod and I thought he did a good job.” Langer has also previously indicated he could rotate his bowlers through this period of the Cup, with Australia in the middle of their heaviest part of the schedule.

Australia’s Jason Behrendorff could make the XI against Pakistan.Source:AP

“We knew it was going to be a really tough four games in nine days,” Langer said.

“In a perfect world, you just have the best team to play every game when you possibly can.

“It might be with the match ups, it might be the left-armers. We’ll have a look at Pakistan.”

The Aussies left themselves 11-an-over to get from the final 15 against India as they chased the game but Langer said he was confident in sticking with a similar approach.

“If you look at (India), they were 0/40 after 10. We were 48 after 10. Even at the 38-over mark we still had the same amount of runs.

“So I’m not worried about game style, no way.

“We just lost three wickets in five balls at a stage where they got 113 in the last ten. At The Oval you can get 100 in the last 10 easy.

“The boys will do it differently, we’re not saying to preserve wickets means you’ve got to block. Players have different styles.

“But the philosophy is you can’t make runs from the changeroom.”

INDIA SUFFER CRUSHING BLOW

Shikhar Dhawan celebrates after scoring a century alongside captain Virat Kohli.Source:AFP

While the prospect of being dropped would be a blow for Coulter-Nile he struck one himself for the rest of the tournament it would seem.

While the Aussie may be short on wickets he did retire India opener Shikhar Dhawan in Australia’s loss and it may well have ended Dhawan's’s tournament.

Reports out of India indicate that Dhawan's, who scored a century, took a blow to his left thumb that may have left it fractured.

The left-handed batsman suffered the injury as a result of a nasty blow from a rising delivery by Coulter-Nile but still went on to complete his 17th one-day international century.

But Dhawan took no further part in the match after his dismissal, with substitute Ravindra Jadeja taking the field in his place as India comfortably defended their total of 352 for five to complete a 36-run victory.

The Virat Kohli-led side are up against New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday before taking on archrivals Pakistan in the showpiece match of the 10-team round-robin group stage in Manchester on Sunday.

—Wires

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