Australian head coach Justin Langer has said the team will try out new combinations ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, and the experiments will begin with the series against the West Indies beginning Saturday.
As part of the plan, all-rounder Mitch Marsh will bat at three.
“We see him as a bit of an enforcer up there, he faces fast bowling as well as anyone around the place. He hits the ball with brutal power and we’re looking forward to giving him a chance at the top of the order," said Langer on Thursday.
Langer hinted at all-rounder Moises Henriques and wicket-keeper Ben McDermott being given chances in the five-match series. He mentioned that Josh Phillipe will be slotted in the middle-order while Matthew Wade could open the batting.
Coming to combinations, Langer said he would not be averse to changing the model he had since becoming the head coach in 2018.
“The six batsmen and five specialist bowlers — it’s certainly a model I’ve gone with throughout my whole head coaching career, there’s no surprise to anyone with that. And it’s been a very successful model. But if you look ahead … We might look at this 7-4 model, where you have a couple of allrounders. Different teams do it differently around the world," said Langer.
The 50-year-old coach spoke at length about “different ways of winning our games" ahead of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October-November. Australia are yet to win the event with their best performance coming as second-best in 2010 and 2012.
“Looking ahead also to the World Cup, if we look at where it’s being played — the UAE — there’s going to be enormous amount of traffic on those wickets, with the IPL, the PSL that has already been… we’re going to play on some pretty worn wickets, especially towards the back end of the World Cup. We might have to find different ways of winning our games."
Australia will play West Indies in a T20I for the first time since 2014 at the Darren Sammy Stadium.