Australia v West Indies, 1st ODI, Perth

Tourists out to transcend nostalgia

Daniel Brettig

January 31, 2013

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Match facts


Kieran Powell made 92 before retiring hurt, Prime Minister's XI v West Indians, Canberra, January 29, 2013
Kieran Powell will hope to follow up an assured start to the tour © Getty Images
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February 1, WACA Ground
Start time 1120 (0320 GMT)

Big Picture

Garner. Richards. Ambrose. Lara. No Channel Nine, not anymore. The broadcaster's pre-series promo for Australia's ODI meetings with the West Indies was high on nostalgia and low on relevance, suggesting that either their advertising and marketing department have run out of ideas or they did not notice Darren Sammy's team win the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year. The West Indies did slip up in the limited overs matches that followed their Test victories in Bangladesh, and only a week into their time in Australia may find the going tough at the WACA ground against an Australian side that squared the Sri Lanka series with a closing win in Hobart.

The goal for both sides will be to settle further into a strong combination ahead of the Champions Trophy in England later this year, a prelude to the 2015 World Cup. Australia have plenty of players looking to turn occasional spots in the team into more frequent ones, not least James Faulkner, who has come into the side in place of the momentarily injured Moises Henriques, and Usman Khawaja, ditto for David Warner. West Indies are reintegrating Ramnaresh Sarwan after a period of mutual discontent and legal action, while Sunil Narine will be among those hoping to demonstrate their ability to deliver strong results on surfaces beyond their home region.

Whoever is chosen for West Indies, they have been given some motivation already by television's choice that it is better to ignore the present day completely while enticing viewers to watch. Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and company will be hoping to provide something more vibrant than nostalgia for the 1980s and 1990s.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Australia WLWWL
West Indies LWWLL

In the spotlight

An injury to David Warner has offered Usman Khawaja the chance for a better run at securing an ODI place, following his bizarre one-match stint against Sri Lanka. Khawaja showed comfort against the West Indies bowlers in the tour opener at Manuka Oval, though he did so on a pitch far less lively than that which may be expected in Perth. Having manufactured a couple of run outs in recent times Khawaja's fielding is improving, and he now has the added assurance of knowing he will be flying to India for the forthcoming Tests.

More than 18 months since he last played for the West Indies, Ramnaresh Sarwan has the potential to add worthwhile solidity to a batting line-up composed largely of dashers. His absence from the team was for quite fractious reasons, and it has taken considerable magnanimity by both player and management for Sarwan to return. If he struggled a tad for timing during the opening tour match in Canberra, Sarwan's ability to rotate the strike did not go unnoticed.

Team news

Clarke left Xavier Doherty out of his final XI for the opening ODI. David Warner's thumb fracture means Usman Khawaja will slot somewhere into the top four, while James Faulkner's debut will give Australia no fewer than three left-arm pacemen.

Australia 1 Phillip Hughes, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Usman Khawaja, 5 George Bailey, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Clint McKay.

Kieran Powell has recovered from the cramp that forced him to retire hurt in Canberra, but Andre Russell has a sore knee that limited his bowling in the tour opener and will be given until match-day to prove his fitness. Kemar Roach may miss the first game having only joined the squad in Perth after personal leave at home.

West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieron Powell, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Devon Thomas (wk), 10 Tino Best, 11 Sunil Narine.

Pitch and conditions

Perth's forecast is for a hot, dry day peaking at 37C. The WACA pitch is expected to be speedy, as evidenced by Australia's omission of Doherty.

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies have won 10 of 17 ODIs they have played at the WACA ground, and only once have they lost to Australia, in February 1984
  • Among current players, Michael Clarke is the most prolific run scorer in matches between the teams, sitting 21st on the overall list with 707 at 41.58

Quotes

"I feel really good. My ankle's come along really well after spraining it in Hobart. I'm at full fitness. I've been doing all my running. I've had plenty of batting since I've been here, some bowling and lots of fielding. I'm 100 per cent and looking forward to being out there."
Michael Clarke is confident he has shrugged off ankle and hamstring problems

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

@kanhairuns on (January 31 2013, 23:13 PM GMT) - oh dear! Maybe this is Oz's one win & the WIndies will win the next 4? Yes? BTW - regarding our bowling, McKay has the 6th greatest S/R of all time in ODIs, & Starc is on track to having the 2nd best of all time. @king_kenie on (January 31 2013, 13:13 PM GMT) - from the brief sighting (re: Holder) - I think you are onto something. Watching Holder, I had some nasty flashbacks to the mid-80s. Whilst they were nasty memories, I hope he is the real deal. @wellrounded87 on (February 01 2013, 02:57 AM GMT) "...what does that make the number 7 WI team? (the same team that was embarassed by bangladesh) mediocre i suppose..." - I get ZERO pleasure out of that, but so true.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

West Indies have a powerful batting side when on yet they dont tend to pick any front-line bowlers and go for plenty. Being PErth the hardest pitch for Flat track bullies to perform on I expect Australia will be 2-0 come Sunday night.

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 1, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

Will be interesting to see if AUS finally click as a team in this series. Looks like they'll stick to a core group of players, which is what they should have done all along. My criticism of the rotation system is that it has not placed priority on winning games & developing a team culture. Rather, making sure everyone gets a run & trying to predict who might get injured has been the priority. To me that is madness, esp. in the short term. Good science takes into consideration multiple levels of a system, not one or two in isolation. That's why the rotation policy has produced very poor results so far. Sure, it gives more guys a run, but disrupts team harmony & its relationship with the public, gives winning a secondary value, making a culture of losing OK. It also has had poor results in reducing injuries. There have been more than ever. This is because the logic which underpins the thinking is poor: irregular rest from physical stress does not reduce injuries, but increases likelihood

Posted by wellrounded87 on (February 1, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

@Kanhairuns While i agree this australian team is not even close to where they were for the previous 20 years i think it's fair to say no team in the world will be like that for a long long time. However this Australian side is as good as any in world cricket currently. Our batsmen are lacking experience not depth. Finch can be as destructive as any batter in the world when he's on he just needs to get over his jitters. Hughes has scored 2 centuries from 5 matches and Michael Clarke is in supreme form. Bailey is a solid batsmen and has a great cricket brain and Khawaja is not without his uses. The bowlers are among the best, yes they break down a lot but hardly reason to discredit the talent they've displayed.

Bottom line the number 3 team in the world is hardly "average" and if they are what does that make the number 7 WI team? (the same team that was embarassed by bangladesh) mediocre i suppose.

Posted by BG4cricket on (February 1, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

I sense a crucial day today in the career of Aaron Finch who really needs a score to cement his place and transition his strong domestic form into the international arena

Posted by ConradFitzroy on (February 1, 2013, 2:18 GMT)

Good chance for Khawaja, Hughes, Maxwell to get more game time before India. Hope Finch can get a pile as well!! What are Cowan and Lyon up to at the moment...

Posted by DylanBrah on (February 1, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

@kanhairuns, wake up to yourself mate, this Aussie team is world class. Only weakness I see in this team is Maxwell in the allrounder position. The fact that Darren Sammy is your captain speaks volumes about where West Indian cricket is right now. You will never get back to the glory days.

Posted by Bolt77 on (February 1, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

I am looking forward to this series. I think a fit Samuels would have made it more even. As a WI fan I want us to win, but it will be difficult against Aus at home. We need to play Holder on the WACA. He bowled well in Caribbean T20. I wouldn't play Best but I think they might pick him. I want to see big things from Darren Bravo and Kieran Powell. I hope that they play them both. Please leave out an all-rounder.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2013, 1:42 GMT)

I have to call this match for the Aussies simply because they have by far the superior pace attack at the WACA and will get more assistance from the surface and breeze. McKay and Faulkner will be tight, Johnson will be full mongrel, Starc will be a bit of each. It's definitely premature to call the series for the Windies just yet.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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