“Travis Head is a huge loss to start the tournament because he’s someone that opposing teams really fear because of how quickly he can score,” former captain Aaron Finch said this week. “You can play the best you can and he can still destroy you on his day.
“They’re the kind of players that keep you up at night as captain… when you’re planning for the opposition, because they’re the ones you know, no matter the planning, if it’s their day , they can be brutal.
“I’m thinking of Quinton de Kock, Jonny Bairstow, Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler. When they have a day out it’s so hard to stop them and sometimes they can take the game away from you, so I think Trav will be a huge asset in that regard, especially on the power play.
At the same time, neither Head, the selectors nor the medical staff want to put the southpaw in a position where he risks long-term wrist problems due to rushing back.
“We will get updates from Trav almost every day,” India head coach Andrew McDonald said ahead of Australia’s opening match. “He is quite engaged with the group.
“The official updates, they will kind of come, I think it’s around October 11th or 12th where there will be another checkpoint with how he travels with this kind of bone healing and that will give us will likely give a lot more information on final timelines and when he can potentially rejoin the group.
“Until we get that information, he will stay home training and preparing his body as much as he can.”
Nathan Lyon, meanwhile, has put his hand up to fly to India should Australia need another specialist spinner later in the tournament. After tearing his calf during the Ashes, Lyon will play club cricket next week and is set to return for New South Wales in a one-day match on October 20.
“I sent (head coach) Andrew McDonald a text message the other day when I saw Ashton Agar was ruled out,” Lyon said on Sunday in Sydney. “I said, ‘Just so you know, I’m back bowling 10 overs, I’m right to go, 100 percent.’
“If that happened, I would do anything to go and play in the World Cup. The team they have there looks pretty exciting…and I’m pretty excited for tonight to be honest.
No Matthews, no Windies as Australia dominate ODI
Australia 2-87 (Healy 38) beat West Indies 83 (Alleyne 35, Garth 3-8) by 8 wickets
West Indies were no match for Australia in the first ODI at Allan Border Field on Sunday, falling to an eight-wicket defeat after making just 83 without their wonder captain Hayley Matthews.
It is a truism in cricket that the longer the format, the more likely it is that the stronger team will win. This would have been true even if Matthews had played against Alyssa Healy’s team.
The West Indies have only beaten Australia once in a 50-over match, as far back as the 2013 World Cup, where the Australians reversed that result in the tournament final to begin an unbeaten streak that now stands at 12 matches.
As it stood, the quad strain Matthews wore in the third match of a Twenty20 series – in which she led the Australians from close range – meant the Caribbean side were without their best player for the start of the ODIs .
The main consequence of this was that the West Indian batting line-up was decidedly unresponsive and did not rise to the occasion of the moving ball in the skilled hands of Megan Schutt, Kim Garth and Darcie Brown.
They set the tone for the day after Healy won the toss, ultimately ensuring that the West Indies bowled out for a mere 83, before Healy, Phoebe Litchfield and Ellyse Perry contributed handy scores at a eight-wicket victory with a whopping 35.1 overs to spare.
The Australian trio took advantage of the morning air and a bit of freshness on the field, bringing the tourists to 3-5 in seven overs after dispatching two teenagers – Zaida James and Djenaba Joseph – to open the match.
Without Matthews, the fate of the innings rested largely with his managerial predecessor Stafanie Taylor, who had provided vital support in a match-winning partnership in the second match of the T20 matches at North Sydney Oval on Monday evening.
But after working her way up to 12th with stand-in captain Shemaine Campbelle, Taylor edged past the speedy Brown behind, where Healy took an excellent catch. From 4 to 29, there was little chance of a competitive score.
Australia’s dominance was so clear that a hamstring complaint for Brown, which meant she was no longer playing after finishing her third with the figures of 1-10, did little to stem the flow of wickets.
Healy had a particularly good day behind the stumps, deftly fending off the Caribbean team’s top scorer, Aaliyah Alleyne, from the bowling of Garth when the ball bounced a little more than expected and the striker drifted a fraction over. beyond its territory.
Earlier, Healy had run, turned and tossed the stumps to dismiss Cherry-Ann Fraser for a diamond duck after a ball fled behind square leg off the pad of Alleyne, who made her displeasure clear as Fraser was moving away.
Georgia Wareham and Ash Gardner shared four wickets to help mop up the remainder of the innings, although the former’s economy was lacking. Alana King, who made a catch as a backup outfielder, should expect to have a chance to spin her broken legs at some point in the series.
Left with such a paltry target, Healy and Litchfield played amongst themselves, as the new ball proved somewhat difficult in the hands of Fraser and Chinelle Henry.
After a stand worth 57, Healy glanced Fraser into the wicketkeeper’s gloves, and Litchfield’s stay ended when she was smartly caught by Campbelle, who had anticipated to fittingly the reverse sweep that Litchfield has made a staple.
That left Perry and Beth Mooney to tidy up, which they achieved in 15 overs. The second match of the series will take place on Thursday at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.
Markram’s chaos: South Africa’s 49-ball ton
Aiden Markram smashed a 49-ball hundred, the fastest ever in the men’s 50-over World Cup, as South Africa’s raging opening spell helped them beat Sri Lanka by 102 runs in their first match of the tournament on Saturday.
There was some brutal hitting at the Arun Jaitley Stadium where three of South Africa’s top four batters smashed quick hundreds to help them accumulate a tournament record total of 5-428.
Quinton de Kock hit 100 and Rassie van der Dussen hammered 108, but both were overshadowed by Markram’s incendiary 106 from 54 balls.
Markram, voted player of the match, eclipsed Irish slugger Kevin O’Brien’s 50-ball century against England in the 2011 World Cup.
Former champions Sri Lanka were all out for 326 in 44.5 overs after brief fightbacks from Kusal Mendis (76), Charith Asalanka (79) and Dasun Shanaka (68).
South Africa’s mammoth score replaced Australia’s 6-417 score against Afghanistan in 2015 and became the highest score in the men’s World Cup.
“Happy for us. I have no complaints about the strike,” said South Africa captain Temba Bavuma.
“We weren’t quite clinical with the ball, but we’ll carry that confidence into the next game.”
A staggering 31 sixes were hit in the match, to go with 74 fours, on a track that produced 754 runs.
Shanaka opted to field after winning the toss and the 1996 champions did not have to wait long to break through.
Dilshan Madushanka trapped Bavuma lbw in the second over, but Sri Lanka did not get a chance to celebrate another dismissal in the next 29 overs with de Kock and van der Dussen combining in an exhilarating 204-run stand.
De Kock pushed Matheesha Pathirana to reach an 83-ball century, celebrating the milestone by punching the air and letting out a scream.
He attempted another out off the next ball, only to go through mid on and depart after a whirlwind knock that included three sixes.
Van der Dussen’s near-run shot ended when he attempted to knock Dunith Wellalage out of the park.
Markram, who hit 14 fours and three sixes, then took over and the boundaries started flowing.
When Sri Lanka returned to begin their chase, Mendis decided to fight fire with fire and raced to a 25-ball fifty, threatening to snatch Markram’s record.
Kagiso Rabada came to his teammate’s rescue and sent Mendis caught behind after the batter’s 42-ball blitz that was studded with eight sixes and four fours.
“The execution wasn’t there, we lacked the right length. On these kind of wickets, it is very difficult,” Shanaka said about his team’s batting.
“We had the momentum, especially the way Mendis and Asalanka played, but their total was a bit too much for us.”
News, results and expert analysis from the sports weekend sent every Monday. Subscribe to our Sports newsletter.