Ben Hilfenhaus ruled out of first ODI against Windies – Cricket News Update
Australian pacer, Ben Hilfenhaus, was ruled out of the first ODI of the series against West Indies after he missed training on Monday due to a viral illness.
The 29-year-old, who claimed 5 for 33 in the 7th ODI of the Commonwealth Bank series against India at the Gabba, will be joining James Pattinson as both sit out Australia’s clash with the West Indies this Friday at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, St Vincent. While this would indicate that the visitors will be short on pace options, they still have veteran Brett Lee, and Clint McKay, whose 5 for 28 in the last final of the CB series powered the Aussies to victory.
The team can also fall back on Shane Watson (who will be stepping in as captain in place of the injured Michael Clarke) and Daniel Christian, who took an impressive 5 for 31 during a tri-series match against Sri Lanka at Melbourne.
In addition, owing to the dry, dusty Caribbean pitch, it would appear that spinners will be in demand, and this means more responsibility on the shoulders of Nathan Lyon (who made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on March 8) and Xavier Doherty.
While the grassy pitches in Australia during the tri-series were not particularly conducive to spin, Doherty did claim 9 scalps during the tournament.
Watson has indicated that he might keep both spinners in the team, and added that the depletion of two pacers is not a cause for worry, as he has plenty of options.
“Absolutely they're a chance because they did a brilliant job in the last game in Adelaide especially,” Watson said in relation to the two spinners.
“For me as a captain it gives me plenty of options when you do have two spinners of that quality. In the end, it's all about trying to balance that with exactly what we need here with the conditions but also with the West Indian team and how they're going to play their cricket,” he added.
Australia’s confirmed playing XI for the first One-Day of the series, scheduled for March 16, is expected to be announced once they complete their final training session later today.