Australia captain Alex Carey has hinted there could be a shake-up to the make-up of his XI for the ODI series decider against West Indies.
Across the first two ODIs, Australia opted to field just one frontline spinner in Adam Zampa, with Ashton Agar out with a hamstring injury.
That proved a winning formula in the series opener, where Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood combined for eight wickets in a 133-run victory but the Australians were left to rue the absence of a second specialist spinner in their game two defeat.
In both matches so far, West Indies’ spinners have proved their most effective bowlers, with Hayden Walsh Jr taking 5/39 in game one and Akeal Hosein’s 3/30 in game two the catalyst of Australia’s defeat.
Given the conditions, Carey told reporters a fit-again Agar would be in the discussion for a return to the XI in the decider.
“Seeing what the spin impact had, not only last game but in the first, he’s definitely an option and someone we’re looking to somehow find a way into that line-up,” the stand-in skipper said. “We’ll get hopefully the right balance over the next 12 hours before we start.
“There’s lots to weigh up. I think tomorrow there is a great opportunity to add a spinner to the line-up. We’ll discuss that tonight and see if we do choose to go down that path. It has shown it’s a spin-friendly wicket.”
On the batting front, Australia are sweating on the results of scans on Ben McDermott’s right ankle after the opener’s awkward fall in the second ODI.
With Australia light on batting cover following Aaron Finch’s campaign ending knee injury, Carey said the door was open for all-rounder Dan Christian to play his first ODI in seven years if needed.
"He offers a lot of experience," he said. "We might talk about him not playing one-day cricket for a while but there's a wealth of knowledge, he's played a lot of cricket.
"He's playing lots of cricket at a high level. We have still got options."
With Finch heading home to rehabilitate before the T20 World Cup, Australia’s selectors are set to name a stand-in captain for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh. Carey may be in the mix for that role but says his focus is firmly on the opportunity that lies in front of Australia in the Caribbean after their disappointing 4-1 loss in the T20Is.
“Having the T20s go the way they did, we’re well and truly confident, excited, ready for the opportunity tomorrow to win a series for Australia,” he said.
“Just having our team meeting, I can see the excitement on the boys’ faces to bounce back from the other night, where we played still some really good cricket and (being) in the game defending 187 is a huge credit to the players.
“Very exciting to rock up tomorrow to Kensington Oval with an opportunity to win a final.”
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