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Coach McDonald happy with depth in Australia ODI squad and its recent progress

Sydney, Sep 12 (IANS) Australia’s men’s cricket coach Andrew McDonald has expressed satisfaction over the team’s progress and depth in One-day Internationals (ODIs) ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Australia has won back-to-back ODI series against New Zealand and Zimbabwe and have done even while the team is undergoing changes with captain Aaron Finch announcing his retirement.

The issue facing Australia now is to find a replacement for Finch as a white-ball skipper and opener.

McDonald said they have found some answers to these questions and will be trying a few more things before taking a final decision.

Australia overcame Zimbabwe 2-1 in Townsville before thrashing New Zealand 3-0 in Cairns — all while Australia’s selectors tinkered with batting and bowling options.

“The exposure that we’re giving some players in Inglis and Abbott and Green, with (Mitch) Marsh and (Marcus) Stoinis and (Pat) Cummins not in that last side, we’re just creating some depth,” McDonald said.

“We have played some players in different roles.

“We have challenged ourselves with the structure of our team as well as playing eight batters and trying to get more overs out of our all-rounders,” McDonald was quoted as saying by the local media.

“We got a lot of information out of the six games up here, in particular three games against New Zealand in difficult conditions.

“The pleasing factor is the adaptability of our players to work through different conditions and to play in many different ways.”

Australia tested Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott and Josh Inglis during the two series with various degree of success McDonald said he is in no rush to take a final call as Finch will still play on as skipper through the upcoming T20 World Cup in October and November.

“It’s probably the end of the (T20) World Cup isn’t it?” he said.

“We have got a little bit of time to consider what those options look like.

“We’ve got the (T20) World Cup in front of us so that’s more pressing at this stage than filling the captaincy void.”

Australia’s next 50-over engagement is November’s three-match ODI Series against England that follows soon after the T20 World Cup.

–IANS

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