ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Fuse lit for Aussie-Windies showdown
Respective pace brigades set to unleash bouncer barrage in Thursday's World Cup clash at Trent Bridge
2 June 2019, 10:27 AM AEST
Australia quick Nathan Coulter-Nile has picked up where Windies firebrand Andre Russell left off on Friday, suggesting the world champs' pace battery will meet fire with fire when the two sides meet in what is shaping as a mouth-watering World Cup clash on Thursday.
After Australia dispatched Afghanistan for 207 inside 39 overs to pave the way for a comfortable win in Bristol on Saturday, Coulter-Nile said he, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins would happily test out the Windies' batsmen with plenty of short balls.
"You've got to give it (bowl bouncers) to the Windies, otherwise they just get on the front foot and pogo you everywhere," the right-arm quick, who returned 0-36 from eight overs against the Afghans, said.
"We'll definitely give it to them – we give it to every team. You've got to use your two (permitted bouncers per over).
"The grounds are so small and the wickets are generally pretty flat, so you've got to use bouncers when you can."
Coulter-Nile's sentiment is quickly becoming a familiar theme at this tournament, particularly given the venues and conditions in which matches are being played, and following the West Indies' devastating fast-bowling display that routed Pakistan for just 105 in 21.4 overs.
After that match at Trent Bridge – the same ground where Australia will meet the Caribbean side – fast-bowling allrounder Russell said the Windies would employ the same tactic against Australia.
"I'm not going to change anything, I'm going to be aggressive but be smart about it," Russell, who hit Australia batsman Usman Khawaja in the jaw with a bouncer in the early moments of a World Cup warm-up game last month, said.
"Australian guys are used to fast bowling, but once you bowl aggressive to them anything can happen.
"Even though you can a lot of time be a good puller or better with the short balls, it all depends on the pace of the ball and line of the ball.
"If the ball is slightly wide, for you to pull a wide ball you have to get your bat around.
"That can cause a simple mistake, getting caught at fine leg or the boundary. And then game over for that batter."
Central to the West Indies' success is likely to be veteran opening batsman Chris Gayle, who despite approaching his 40th birthday, looks in ominous touch after smashing a 34-ball 50 against Pakistan.
"You know he's going to hit your good balls for four and hit your bad balls for six, (so you have to) just keep as bowling as many good balls," Coulter-Nile said.
"We'll stick a few up him, definitely. 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 'Patty' (Cummins) recently but they're bowling quick. So we'll see how he handles that early.
"If he gets through that, we'll get 'Zamps' (leg-spinner Adam Zampa) into him – he's got a few big scalps recently."
Australia captain Aaron Finch agreed that short balls would play a significant role through the tournament.
"I think everyone will be using that (tactic), no doubt," Finch said ahead of Australia's match against Afghanistan.
"With quite a few grounds being such short straight boundaries in England, and with such long square boundaries at times, depending on where you play, I think it'll be a huge asset."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE