Australia v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Canberra February 5, 2013

Tourists' last chance on contrasting pitch

Match facts

February 6, Manuka Oval
Start time 1420 (0320 GMT)

Big Picture

Following an opening hiding with a more creditable display in game two, the West Indies are nonetheless only a game away from losing this series 3-0. Australia have been spearheaded brilliantly by Mitchell Starc, while George Bailey played an innings of thoughtfulness and quality to ensure a defensible total after the rest of the hosts' batting folded on Sunday. The fast, lively Perth pitch prepared for the first two matches will be in sharp contrast to the strip of turf expected for Manuka Oval's first day/night ODI match, as the oval is well known for providing one of the most amiable if nondescript surfaces in the country.

How the two teams adapt to the surface will be one of the most intriguing subplots of the match. The lower bounce and slower pace will provide something of a relief for several batsmen on both sides, in particular Shane Watson as he attempts to regain form and confidence after injury. Chris Gayle is another lacking in many runs behind him this summer, both with the West Indies and the Sydney Thunder in the BBL. If the visitors are to regather some kind of chance to salvage the series in the nation's capital, then Gayle will be hopeful of figuring prominently.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Australia WWWLL
West Indies LLLWW

In the spotlight

Presently unable to contribute anything as a bowler, Shane Watson is running out of innings to show he can find strong form as a batsman alone before the India Test series. A trio of low scores on his return from a calf injury at grade and domestic level did not prevent his ODI recall, and Watson will hope for an innings of power and permanence at Manuka Oval. Should he get through the new ball, the manner in which Watson tackles Sunil Narine will be of particular interest.

Scores of 6, 11 and 14 on this tour so far represent a gentle but insubstantial upward curve for Darren Bravo. As an unquestionably gifted batsman he needs to be doing more, and can use the example provided so far by Kieran Powell as inspiration for the third match of the series in Canberra, on a surface likely to be far more brimful of runs than Perth's had seemed at times.

Team news

Xavier Doherty is a probable inclusion for the third match of the series, having sat out both fixtures in Perth. One of the left-armers, James Faulkner or Mitchell Johnson, appears the most most likely to make way.

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

West Indies will be hopeful of a recall for Andre Russell, who missed both the WACA fixtures due to a knee problem.

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

Pitch and conditions

Canberra's surface could not be much more different than Perth's lively, bouncy strip, while the breeze and atmosphere is not known to encourage much swing either.

Stats and trivia

  • This will be the third ODI played at Manuka Oval, and the first since 2008
  • Shane Watson's previous ODI appearance for Australia was against England at Durham in July


"From now on every game is a final and we have to play it like that. The bowlers gave us a good start but we weren't able to close them out with that killer punch, so we are working hard to get all three disciplines spot on and look to click."
Darren Sammy knows this is his side's last chance in the series.

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