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OPTION | T20 WC: Ellis would be my third fast-bowling pick in Australia's attack, says Paine

IANS | Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2024 16:27 PM IST
T20 WC: Ellis would be my third fast-bowling pick in Australia's attack, says Paine

HOBART:Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine thinks Nathan Ellis should be Australia's third fast-bowling option in the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup, starting from June 2 (IST) in the West Indies and the USA.

A crafty pacer with various variations up his sleeve, Ellis, 29, has picked 24 wickets in 14 games for Australia in T20Is, though he hasn’t been able to nail a permanent spot in the side. He was a reserve player in Australia's triumph in the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE and wasn’t in 15-member squad for the 2022 edition at home.

"I think Australia have a great opportunity, and I hope they take it in this World Cup, and that is to pick Nathan Ellis. He would be my third quick. I think he just complements the other guys really well, he's got a different skillset, comes from a different angle, different height, and think some variety in the attack will be really important to win this World Cup," said Paine to ESPN's Around The Wicket show.

Ellis featured just once for Punjab Kings in IPL 2024, taking 1-24 in a rare win for his team in a campaign where they finished second-last in the points table. In Australia's first T20 World Cup warm-up match against Namibia, Ellis picked 1-17 from his four overs.

With Ellis a firm starter for him, Paine thinks the other pacer would be a toss-up between Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. "I know you are going to ask me straightaway who aren't you playing…I'm going to go Mitchell Starc, (he) is my out and out number one quick, I'm picking him, obviously going with Adam Zampa, and I'm doing to decide between Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"I'm going to pick one of them and I'm going to go with Nathan Ellis' all-round skills, his ability to bowl all through the powerplay, I think his slower balls, he's clever. His international record for the opportunities that he's been given is outstanding and I think now is the right time.

"That's not to say they (Cummins and Hazlewood) are not the best couple of bowlers in the country, they are outstanding bowlers, and will continue to be, I just think Nathan Ellis complements the rest of that attack really, really well," he added.

Australia will face co-hosts West Indies in another warm-up game, before opening their campaign against Group B opponents Oman at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on June 5, followed by facing England, Namibia and Scotland in the league stage.