Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell may be rested from the first one-day international against Pakistan as the tourists recover from a stomach bug that has hit the team in the United Arab Emirates. Maxwell missed training on Wednesday, two days ahead of Friday’s opener here. Spinner Nathan Lyon also missed training on Tuesday with illness but joined his team mates in their Wednesday session and is a good chance to be picked in a dual spinning assault with wrist spinner Adam Zampa. “The stats from here all suggest that spin takes a bigger impact. I’ll expect them to spin,” captain Aaron Finch said in comments published by Cricket Australia’s website (cricket.com.au). “We even saw yesterday the training wickets looked how we expect the middle to play. You’re never quite sure though, once there’s a bit of traffic on it they start to slow up pretty quick and spin a bit. “I think that will be a feature, especially the two games in Sharjah.” Paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile re-joined the squad for the five-match series against Pakistan after missing the final three ODIs against India to fly home to Perth for the birth of his second child.After trailing India 2-0, Australia won the next three games in succession against Virat Kohli’s side to claim their first series victory in the format in over two years and enjoy a timely confidence boost ahead of the World Cup. Coulter-Nile, who is in the frame for the global showpiece while seamers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc struggle with injuries, said there was a good mood around the camp despite fierce competition for spots on the World Cup squad. “Everyone’s performing, that’s why we’re winning but even when someone has a bad day, they’re really supportive of other blokes who have had a good day,” he said. “It’s fantastic to see. I don’t think it’s a conscious effort that anyone makes, just think it’s good mates supporting each other. I don’t think anybody goes out there thinking, ‘I’m not going to worry about selection’. It’s just the way everyone is, they’re all just good people.”Australia series an opportunity for players: Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur is confident new players will grab the opportunity to fill a few available places for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 through the five-match. Pakistan have rested six players – captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan – to provide an opportunity to the other leading performers to stake a claim for the tournament to be held in England and Wales from 30 May and 14 July. Mickey believed it was a well-thought out and a sensible decision. “We designed this series for our players for the simple fact that we want to test our best bench players,” said Mickey. “There was planning, sometimes people think that its ad hoc. We want to test our bench-strength so that we could have a look at our final squad and combination. We know our major players for the World Cup.” Openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali have been prolific scorers in domestic and “A” series, while batsman Saad Ali scored 900 plus runs in the 2017-18 first-class season. Paceman Mohammad Abbas is an established Test spearhead who has the knock of doing well in limited overs as well. Rookie 18-year-old Mohammad Hasnain has impressed with his pace in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League. Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has also been recalled after impressing with his match fitness in the PSL. “After this series, we go to England and there we go with a very settled squad and the roles will be defined. We want to know where the squad stands. We felt that we have done everything possible to be the best possible prepared team for the World Cup.”Pakistan also play five one-day internationals against England before the 10-team mega event. Mickey believes trying new players will help in long term. “For us, it isn’t so much about Australia, this is about us and those positions for the World Cup and the opportunity created for a lot of players because for us, we need to find who our players are for every position. Mickey backed the decision to rest skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and five others. Mickey, who also coached South Africa and Australia, believes Australia are a resurging side after a turbulent period in the wake of last year’s ball tampering episode.Published in Daily Times, March 22nd 2019.