The cricketing world will be desperately hoping for some action, after two washed out days, when Australia and Pakistan lock horns at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton in the 17th match of the World Cup 2019. The last two games of the tournament were abandoned due to rain and the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed, praying that the rain gods show mercy today. Pakistan have already lost one point due to rain and would be desperate to get the maximum points from the upcoming game against Australia.
Everyone just has to be prepared to shuffle
Australia, the defending champions, enter the contest after suffering a crushing loss at the hands of India on Sunday. Not much went right for the five-time champions against the formidable Indian team. Asked to bowl first, Australia ended up conceding a mammoth total of 352 for 5. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya starred with the bat for the Men in Blue.
"Your team might change if it's a really delayed start or something like that. Everyone just has to be prepared to shuffle their roles around. And be really adaptable and that's one thing we've been really, really clear with the players that we want everyone to be adaptable and be ready to go at any situation. If you change the batting order, everyone would be called upon to bowl. So you always prepare as well as you can for the full 50, and if it changes it's just a daily thing," said Australian captain Aaron Finch on the eve of the game against Pakistan.
Though Finch isn't willing to get sucked into a game plan specific for rain-affected matches, he realizes the importance of washouts and shared points, and why it's important to get a few wins early on the board.
"I think it might play a huge part in the next few days, I think. Next week it starts to fine up and looks good across the country for the remainder of the tournament," Finch said. "But it's important that you get early wins on the board because if they do play a part you don't want to be on the wrong end of a couple of washouts that might leave you just outside that top four."
One thing the wet weather across the country has done is add life to the pitches. Scores in excess of 400, if not 500, were expected throughout the tournament but racking up 300 on the board has proved difficult. What's proving to be another detriment to run scoring are the used pitches, which will feature in a long tournament such as this.
"I think there's just been enough rain around and enough for the wickets to have a little bit in them," Finch said. "And there's a couple times where we've used a used wicket which we probably didn't take too much of an account for in the planning, the last game, and the one at Trent Bridge were both used wickets."