After hectic few months, Nathan Coulter-Nile isn’t casting his mind too far beyond Friday’s opening ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah.
Hardly a week has gone by this year in which Nathan Coulter-Nile has not encountered a significant life event.
The highly rated paceman’s eventful start to 2019 has seen him rebound from a contentious axing, recover from a bout of vertigo and return home to Perth from India just in time for the birth of his second child.
As Coulter-Nile describes the dash home: “Landed, had the baby … six days I had (in Perth). Didn’t really feel like that. I think slept for two of them. I was in and out quickly.”
Given the hectic few months, it’s not hard to see why Coulter-Nile isn’t casting his mind too far beyond Australia’s five-ODI campaign against Pakistan, beginning Friday in Sharjah.
The series shapes as the final major opportunity for the injury-plagued quick, long regarded as one of the most enticing prospects in Australian cricket, to show why he deserves a World Cup berth.
With the competition for fast-bowling spots to increase further when Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are reintroduced into the fray, Coulter-Nile is taking a typically no-nonsense approach.
“The World Cup is always going to be spoken about, it’s around the corner, people are vying for selection,” he said Wednesday.
“Practically to get picked you have to perform. So that’s the easy way to do (take one’s mind off the World Cup) – go out and perform.
“You don’t need to worry about if you’re getting picked or not if you’re taking wickets.
“It’s only when you’re not taking wickets or you’re not making runs that you worry about it.”
Coulter-Nile was swiftly recalled to Australia’s limited-overs squad to travel to India after he missed the preceding home leg against the same opposition earlier this year, making headlines when he expressed disappointment over “mixed messages” in the selection process.
That came weeks before a scary incident while playing in the KFC BBL for Perth Scorchers where he was hospitalised and diagnosed with vertigo.
It was the second time in eight years he’s suffered the unusual sensation, but while the 31-year-old is still searching for answers as to why it occurred, he isn’t overly concerned about a reoccurrence.
“I haven’t had a chance (to find out the cause) – I saw a vestibular physio and an ear, nose and throat specialist but they didn’t really give me much,” he explained.
“So I’ll get through this series, go home and … I want to know the cause of why it happened. Because if I can stop it I will.
“But it’s happened twice in 8 years so it’s not like it is a continuing issue for me.”
His encouraging returns in the four games he played in India before departing have set up an intriguing battle for pace spots.
Pat Cummins would appear a lock for the World Cup, Jhye Richardson has made a compelling case while Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff could also advance their cases in the UAE.
But Coulter-Nile stressed none of the fast-bowling cartel members are putting themselves before the best interests of the team.
“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.”
Qantas Tour of the UAE
First ODI: v Pakistan, March 22 in Sharjah
Second ODI: v Pakistan, March 24 in Sharjah
Third ODI: v Pakistan, March 27 in Abu Dhabi
Fourth ODI: v Pakistan, March 29 in Dubai
Fifth ODI: v Pakistan, March 31 in Dubai
(all matches begin at 10pm AEDT)