Australia's assistant coach Andrew McDonald has revealed that swapping positions of Alex Carey and Matthew Wade was an approach to remain flexible in the middle overs before the T20 World Cup. The move did not pay off, however, as the duo managed to add just 15 runs between them.
In the second T20I against South Africa, despite being in a comfortable position at 124-3 with 35 runs needed off 27 balls, Australia lost their momentum as wickets tumbled quickly with David Warner left stranded at one end with no support from the other. The visitors lost by just 12 runs, courtesy some brilliant death bowling from Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada.
The move of promoting wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey at number 4 instead of his regular-position at number 6, in particular, came under scrutiny, but Australia's assistant coach Andrew McDonald has expressed that the move was an approach to remain flexible in the middle overs.
"We felt that was the right move at the right time and Justin and Aaron pulled that move. Hindsight will tell you whether it was right or wrong. Wadey's quite flexible; we've seen throughout his career that he's batted anywhere between one and seven. So we feel as though he had the flexibility to finish off the innings with Mitch Marsh and that's the way we went today," said McDonald as quoted by Cricket Australia.
As Carey and Matthew Wade swapped positions, the plan didn't work out for the Aussies as both failed to deliver. After Warner and Steve Smith laid out a decent 50-run stand, the middle-order collapsed, which led the Proteas to level the series at 1-1. While speaking in the post-match press conference, McDonald said that the approach got decided per the situation. With Carey being a good player of spin in the middle-overs and with Shamsi dictating the tempo of the game, the move was imperative at that time.
"It was seen that Shamsi was in some way controlling the tempo of the game through the middle overs there so that move was made. The move only happens when you lose a wicket. (Carey) went in and the view was that he was the best player of the spin in the middle overs to do that. Justin wants the players to be flexible, we are training them to be flexible and most of the time, these guys have batted in all different situations and positions in the order," he added.
Australia will square off against South Africa in the third T20I in Cape Town on Wednesday, where the result of the series will be decided.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi