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'Wouldn't be surprised if I got dropped' – Coulter-Nile

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. 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 expected to be dropped from the playing XI 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," he said. "I'm in the team to take wickets and I've had two wicket-less games, so we'll see how we go."

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.

Nathan Coulter-Nile went wicket-less in the first two matches against Afghanistan and West indies
Nathan Coulter-Nile went wicket-less in the first two matches against Afghanistan and West indies

Australia's vice-captain, Alex Carey, who played a crucial knock of 45, praised the ball-striking abilities of Coulter-Nile. "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 could be in contention if 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, 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.

Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.


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