1st ODI Preview: A battle between the seamers
by Asher Wilson
DateLine: 1st February 2013
Australia v West Indies
1st ODI 2013
In what will be the first real test of West Indian limited overs mettle since their victorious T20 World Cup campaign, the men from the Caribbean travel Down Under to face the Aussies in five one-dayers and a solitary T20. The first two of these fixtures will be held in Perth, at the WACA, and with both sides suffering key injuries it could be quite interesting.
The Windies are finally beginning to look more of a side that can challenge at limited overs level, with competent game-changers littered throughout their squad. As in the past, it will likely be consistency that plagues the West Indies. Let’s see what they can make of the first encounter.
"Out with the old and in with the new" seems to the be the mantra circulating amongst the powers that be in Australian cricket, as David Hussey finds himself the latest on the veteran hit list. Brother Michael Hussey retired from test cricket to find his spot in the one-day side mysteriously void, as Australia attempt to rebuild the remains of a side that has felt the impact of notable retirements in recent years. The selectors are in the unenviable position of plugging holes year after year, as their carefully laid plans unravel. Aaron Finch replaces Hussey, and was likely to partner David Warner at the top of the innings until Warner fractured his thumb in training. Usman Khawaja has once again been drafted into the squad and will likely bat three, with Hughes moving up to opener. Of course, there is always the option of opening with Matthew Wade and playing an extra all-rounder. Unfortunately, after looking promising against Sri Lanka, Moises Henriques will also miss out for the first two fixtures and will be replaced by James Faulkner.
The hype in the West Indian camp surrounds the return of Ramnaresh Sarwan, who hasn’t set foot in the squad in 18 months following the dropping of his central contract for ludicrous reasons amid disagreements with the West Indian coaching staff. His confidence was shattered, but he has now brushed himself off and is ready to be part of the national side once again after a stint in English county cricket. It won’t be an easy return against Australia in their own backyard, especially seeing as they are not exactly considered a side that builds confidence in the opposition. The loss of the effervescent Samuels in a blow, but the West Indies possess the likes of Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles and the Bravo brothers in the top order, with Sarwan, Deonarine and Pollard to boot. Andre Russell provides firepower with the bat and Roach may find help in the quick bowling department from the tall 21-year-old Jason Holder, an up-and-coming seamer from Barbados. The West Indies will need to tighten up their bowling attack as they leaked 333 runs in 50 overs against an admittedly strong President’s XI, as they proceeded to lose their first game on tour by 23 runs.
The WACA is known for having considerable pace and bounce, so it may not be a bad idea for the West Indies to experiment with the youngster on a pitch that will suit him. The Windies have not won an ODI in Australia in 13 matches and last one at the WACA was as far back as 1997, but also have not looked as settled into a groove as they do now. The weather is sunny with no rain expected.
Australia squad: MJ Clarke*, GJ Bailey, BCJ Cutting, XJ Doherty, JP Faulkner, AJ Finch, PJ Hughes, MG Johnson, UT Khawaja, CJ McKay, GJ Maxwell, MA Starc, MS Wade†, DA Warner
West Indies squad: DJG Sammy*, DJ Bravo, TL Best, DM Bravo, J Charles†, N Deonarine, CH Gayle, JO Holder, SP Narine, KA Pollard, KOA Powell, KAJ Roach, AD Russell, RR Sarwan, DC Thomas
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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