Thursday, February 20, 2020 | ePaper

I wouldn't be surprised if I got dropped: Coulter-Nile

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After playing a match-winning innings of 92 against West Indies at Trent Bridge, Nathan Coulter-Nile, the Australian fast-bowling all-rounder, said he wouldn't be surprised if he's axed for Australia's third game at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.
Australia were 147/6 when Andre Russell dismissed Alex Carey for 45 in the 31st over, and they desperately required someone to bat for a long time to support the well-set Steve Smith. Nathan Coulter-Nile, known more for his fast bowling and occasional big hits, went one better, not only supporting Smith but also taking the lead in Australia's counter-attack with a 60-ball 92, powering Australia to a total of 288.
Despite registering a record World Cup score for a no. 8 batsman, the 31-year old hinted at chances of him being dropped from the playing eleven against India on Sunday, owing to the fact that he hadn't picked up wickets in any of Australia's two games so far.
"We've got two world-class (fast) bowlers (on the sidelines). I'm not in the team to make runs, hopefully the top order does that, so I wouldn't be surprised if I got dropped for the next game," Coulter-Nile said. "I'm in the team to take wickets and I've had two wicket-less games, so we'll see how we go."
Coulter-Nile's innings was studded with eight fours and four sixes as he put up a 102-run partnership with Steve Smith, before the latter was caught brilliantly by Sheldon Cottrell at deep backward square leg. Reflecting on the depth of the Australian pace attack, Coulter Nile embraced the competition that comes with it.
"I actually like it. I think it's good to have competition and it wouldn't be good if we had no one pushing you trying to get better, so I love it," he said.
Australia's vice-captain, Alex Carey, who played a crucial knock of 45, praised the ball-striking abilities of Coulter Nile. "To have a guy play the innings of his life was something I'm sure you guys enjoyed watching," the wicket-keeper batsman said. "He's capable of striking the ball very cleanly, I've seen that a number of times now. Some days you just get on a roll and he did that."
Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson would be in contention if Nathan Coulter Nile is to be benched when Australia play India. While Behrendorff went wicket-less in his last two outings against India in March earlier this year, Kane Richardson has picked up 13 wickets from six matches against the same opposition, including his career-best performance of 5/68, which came in a match winning cause in 2016.

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