Australia v West Indies, Only T20, Brisbane February 12, 2013

Under-strength Australia face world champions


Match facts

February 13, Gabba
Start time 1935 (0835 GMT)

Big Picture

Three years ago, Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland suggested that Twenty20 was such a specialist game that the day might come when Australia could have completely separate Test and T20 teams playing on opposite sides of the globe at the same time. Effectively, that day has arrived, although this one-off occurrence is not quite what Sutherland had in mind. Australia's Test players have now flown to Chennai to prepare for the first Test against India, unquestionably the correct priority. But the packed schedule means they still need to put out a national team for this T20 against West Indies at the Gabba, without David Warner, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty, to name but a few.

Apart from the captain George Bailey, it is hard to say for certain how many members of the squad for this match would be part of Australia's first-choice T20 side. Shaun Marsh, perhaps. James Faulkner might soon get to that point, and so might Aaron Finch. And that's about it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, although the fans buying tickets for the Brisbane match might disagree. A year out from the next World Twenty20, it gives the selectors a chance to have a look at some men who could push their cases. There is the uncapped quartet of Ben Rohrer, Joe Burns, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Coulter-Nile, there is Faulkner, Ben Cutting, Ben Laughlin and Clint McKay, all jostling to become regular members of the T20 attack, while the batsmen Adam Voges and Aaron Finch hope to make the most of their last opportunity of the international summer.

For West Indies, this is a chance to finish on a high after a miserable five-match ODI series. They are the reigning world champions in the Twenty20 format and there is no question that the short matches suit their dynamic style. But after such a lacklustre display in the 50-over games, can they switch on for their last outing of the tour?

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Australia LLLLW
West Indies WWWTL

In the spotlight

Ben Rohrer is a classic example of the national selectors having rewarded Big Bash League performances. A solid if not spectacular batsman for New South Wales over the past few years, Rohrer, 31, delivered with the utmost consistency for the Melbourne Renegades this summer. He didn't fail to reach double figures and scored 34 not out, 27, 18, 30 not out, 52, 35, 57 and 42, which put him fifth on the competition run tally. His strike rate of 152.06 was also the highest of any of the BBL's top 20 run scorers this season. His challenge is to show the selectors that this should not be a one-off appearance dictated by circumstance.

On Sunday at the MCG, Johnson Charles scored his first century in any form of elite cricket during the fifth and final one-day international. It is true that he rode his luck and his technique has so many holes that Phillip Hughes' looks pure by comparison, but Australia's bowlers must consider Charles a danger at the top of the order. If Chris Gayle is ruled out through injury, Charles becomes all the more important.

Team news

The uncapped Queensland and Brisbane Heat batsman Joe Burns has joined the squad as cover for Adam Voges, who suffered a hamstring niggle during his century in the fifth ODI in Melbourne. Voges will be given until just before the match to prove his fitness, while the captain George Bailey, who also has a sore hamstring, is likely to play. Ben Rohrer will make his debut and the fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile also has a strong chance of playing his first international. Australia's main question is which of the fast men to leave out.

Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Adam Voges / Joe Burns, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Ben Rohrer, 6 Brad Haddin (wk), 7 James Faulkner, 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Ben Cutting, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Ben Laughlin / Josh Hazlewood.

West Indies are again waiting on the fitness of Chris Gayle, who has not played since hurting his side during the third ODI in Canberra. Their main question is around the make-up of their attack. Tino Best has not played a Twenty20 international but must be strongly considered after his fearsomely quick bowling over the past couple of ODIs.

West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Kieron Pollard, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Devon Thomas (wk), 8 Andre Russell, 9 Darren Sammy (capt), 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach / Tino Best.

Pitch and conditions

The Gabba always provides plenty of runs in the shorter formats. Unfortunately, the weather forecast indicates that there could be a shower or two in Brisbane in the late afternoon and evening.

Stats and trivia

  • Australia's attack is so inexperienced that the leading wicket takers are Ben Laughlin, Clint McKay and Adam Voges, who each have two T20 international wickets
  • Chris Gayle needs another 15 runs to reach 1000 in T20 internationals


"Every game as a group is important ... in terms of trying to maintain some structure and continuity"
George Bailey on Australia's preparation for the 2014 World Twenty20

"We are the Twenty20 champions and the last time we played Australia we completely outplayed them and that's the type of motivation we're going to take into the last game on this trip."
Darren Sammy

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on February 15, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    @landl47... What an odd anology... I guess going to that make-believe restaurant of yours for a 3 course meal, then being told the entree will be late, arriving at the end of 2 days & tastes boring... Then the main course arrives on day 4 - over cooked, tasteless & now cold... By the end of day 5 you are told there is no dessert but you have to pay for it anyway... Don't you love those boring drawn Tests on lifeless pitches... lol...

  • Daniel on February 13, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @mandela007 I enjoy watching a batsmen smash balls over the rope for 6 too. But I also enjoy watching a team 3 or 4 down for not much, and have the depth to consolidate and dig themselves out of trouble. I enjoy watching the fielding team dry up the runs, building pressure until you know that somethings gonna give, either a flurry of runs or a wicket. People like you think cricket is only 'enjoyable' if a 4 or 6 is hit every ball. T20 leaves no room for the subtleties of the game. And T20 won't necessarily lead new countries to the longer formats of the game. Baseball is huge in the US, but do you see them developing any longer versions of the game? Nope.

  • John on February 13, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    @mandela007 on (February 13, 2013, 1:38 GMT), it is true that T20 is a great leveller and gives more teams a chance to succeed but that just goes to show that it is a dumbed/watered down version of cricket. If everyone has a chance in T20 when they just aren't good enough to cut it in the longer form then that just goes to show that, as cricket, the longer form is better. T20 is a great marketing tool and money generator so it's not going away any time soon but it's like playing checkers at a chess tournament so that more people can have a go.

  • rob on February 13, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    @ Land47: Nice analogy, but tell me, you don't happen to be allergic to peanuts do you? lol ... @ the Sri Lankans claiming they are really the best, it's just that they choke in finals !!!! .. come on, think about it at least a little bit will you. How the hell can you be the "best" if you turn into vegetables in a final? Being the best means you can handle any pressure you are put under. The best teams take all the pressure you can throw at them and shrug it off. If you tend to choke, there is just no way you can really be the best.. I don't mind T20, it's a bit of fun. I think it's a perfectly valid format and doesn't deserve to be dismissed so derisively. .. Given the flukey nature of the format, I think the best way to determine the World Championship is to play the finals as the best of 3 games. .. that's why they play World Series Baseball in a best of 7 series. In baseball, things tend to turn on or two incidents and teams on a roll are extremely hard to pull back.

  • Anupam on February 13, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    @Jason Bray: Dude leftovers? This Australian team is still strong and probably defeat WI without the first choice players..I think CA is using the 20-20 as an opportunity to get some solid domestic players a taste of international cricket as well creating a league of players specifically suited to 20-20 with the World cup in mind. On the other hand, no one can deny the fact that WI is a good 20-20 team and they won the world cup convincingly beating SL. Let's accept the fact that they are good if not the best in this format though its difficult to determine the best team in such a short format..

  • Mohammed on February 13, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    West indies looks favourite but we cannot underestimate Australians they have very good talented players

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    Half of Australia is in India and the leftovers are playing the West Indies. This is not only a joke but an insult to the WI who have travelled half way round the world to play a vain limited over series. If CA are not going to take T20 games seriously then don't play them at all!

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    what is Brad Haddin doing there? Don't we have another wicket keeper under 35 years old? just to clarify David Hussey was told he was too old at 35 to continue playing. Katich was told the same thing also at 35 yo. If i was a young Australian keeper I'd be pretty annoyed at their lack of consistent thinking. Other than that this Team should pull a huge crowd of maybe 5000 providing the queensland weather can supply the full 40 overs, which according to the weather channel is 20% unlikely.

  • John on February 13, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    In answer to the featured comment, here's why I don't like T20. It's like going to a great restaurant in a lovely setting and being offered a bowl of peanuts. You want soup, salad, main course and dessert. You want nuances of taste and texture, you long for herbs and spices. You crave sweet and sour, mellow and bitter. You want time to reminisce about wonderful meals of the past and even when, as sometimes happens, the food isn't so good, great conversation over a glass of wine makes the occasion worthwhile. You want time to digest, to linger, not to be hustled out of the door. Instead, you get peanuts and are told that's it.

    All around you people are enjoying their peanuts, but you know these are people who don't understand or appreciate good food. They chatter excitedly over the quality of their peanuts, not realizing what a limited part of the culinary world peanuts are. Let's face it, even if the peanuts are excellent, in the end..... they're just peanuts.

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    WI the best T20 team.. are you kidding.. They took the world cup luckily beating the nervous Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the number one T20 team. Even a baby knows that. Stats and rankings prove that even further. By the way, I guess Australia will do better in this series as well. WI were pathetic in ODI s. There were few good players, but that's not enough. 11 good players should be there to win a match. not 4 or 5. Good luck for both teams.