Australia returns to the venue where they have played some of their worst cricket in recent years. (Reuters: Craig Brough)
It seems appropriate the over-the-counter drug, ibuprofen — often used for bad headaches — was developed in Nottingham. After all, the city’s main cricket ground, Trent Bridge, has been a constant source of pain for the Australians in recent years.
- Australian coach Justin Langer is confident the Trent Bridge hoodoo will not play a part in his team’s next match
- Langer says the West Indies are showing signs of their former glory
- Off-spinner Nathan Lyon is unlikely to force his way into Australia’s starting 11
After a comfortable first-up win against Afghanistan in Bristol, Australia is bracing itself for a sterner test in its next World Cup clash against the West Indies.
“They’re obviously a very dangerous team — the way they bat [and] they’re very aggressive with their bowling — but they’ve got weaknesses,” Australian coach Justin Langer said.
It will be the second match for the West Indies at the irregular-shaped Trent Bridge cricket ground, where they scored an emphatic seven wicket-win over Pakistan in their tournament opener.
The enigmatic West Indies are already playing with plenty of flair at this year’s Cricket World Cup. (AP: Rui Vieira)
While Australia returns to the venue where they have made history for all the wrong reasons.
The last time the men in green and gold played a One Day International at Trent Bridge, England belted their bowling attack for a world-record total of 481.
“I actually remember walking down to the gate at the end of that bowling and almost wanted to give all the boys a hug because it was brutal,” Langer said.
That was almost 12 months ago and Langer said there were “a few more smiles” among his players this time around.
It is also a vastly different-looking Australian side, with all-rounder Marcus Stoinis the only front-line bowler set to return from that 242-run drubbing.
“Trent Bridge last year was just a very flat wicket [and] we had a young bowling attack,” Langer said.
The Test match against England in the 2015 Ashes series was anything but a flat wicket when the hosts — led by Stuart Broad — destroyed Australia for just 60 in its first innings.
Michael Clarke leads his team off the field after a disastrous first day of the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2015. (Reuters: Phillip Brown)
But this is a new team, a new tournament, and a new opponent. Although Langer said this current West Indies sides had already shown signs of those revered Caribbean teams of years gone by.
Are the Windies the real deal?
“I think we’re seeing plenty of signs of Calypso cricket. They way they’re running in, bowling fast … and they all try to hit sixes, most balls,” Langer said.
“When I was growing up they were my heroes, but they’re not my heroes today.”
The West Indies can expect to face the same Australian outfit that won its opening match, although the coaching staff did consider adding another specialist spinner.
“Every game there are thoughts about playing Nathan Lyon but Adam Zampa is doing a really good job for us,” Langer added.
Adam Zampa (centre) is likely to be the only spinner selected when Australia plays the West Indies in its next match. (AP: Mark Kerton)
“Some of the other grounds we might look to play two spinners … but probably not here.”
Australia will also play Bangladesh at Trent Bridge during the pool stage of the tournament.
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