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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pealivi on February 6, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    ODI is quite different from 20/20. Why are the selectors using almost the same side for both? In my opinion, ODIs is about partnerships and less about hitting sixes. A strong case for Chanderpaul, Deonarine and perhaps also Ramdin!! Gayle could bat at no 5 or 6. I think there is a lot to learn from Powell's approach. Sammy has to be more responsible with the bat. Lastly, how on earth did WI let 98 for six turn to 267 for 7! I notice Gayle, Sarwan and even Pollard were not even used to destabilze Bailey. A lot of things I don't understand.......! If you can't win from a position of strength in a must-win match, well, well......I don't know! I am still a Windies supporter!! Good luck in this one!!

  • everfaithful77 on February 6, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    I'm really pleased at the honesty in SAMMY's comments when he admitted that the bowlers (including himself) gave Windies a good start but they did not deliver that KILLER PUNCH to Australia. The simple truth is that this is a recurring theme or FLAW in Sammy's approach to the game in all formats. Several times Windies would have opp teams in trouble early on but wasn't able to close them out because he sends fielders into defensive positions rather than attacking after 1st power play segment. This allows remaining batsmen easy singles which builds their confidence. In the 2nd ODI Australia were in early trouble at 4/56 in 13.1 overs and 6/98 in 23.4 overs but next partnership yielded 100 runs in 20 overs between batsman Bailey and bowler Faulkner. Only 12 of Faulkner's 39 runs in boundaries. Lesson: SAMMY must continue to apply "scoreboard" pressure on batsmen when opp team lose early wkts and even after POWERPLAY overs by mainly cutting out easy singles. SRI LANKA did that well.

  • blackman23 on February 6, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    I think that the tiger is one of West Indies batting pillars in our cricket and I think that his omission from the series is unfortunate and backward. Chanderpaul's greatness should be acknowledge and allow him to quit on his on timing.Pollard should improve his batting since hardly bowls in ODI's and become more effective on a more consistent basis for WI.Gayle needs to get his confidence going and return to his destructive form.Sammy needs to be more selective with his stroke play and be more responsible as a captain! The bowling must learn to be brutal and learn to demolish the tail to wrap up the opponents innings. Good luck in the third ODI

  • Jayzuz on February 6, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    I'm sure the Windies batsmen will enjoy this ground, much more so that Perth. However it has to be said it will also suit the AUS batsmen. Finch is due for some runs, and is potentially one of the best short format players around. Maxwell and Wade may revel in these conditions too. But I have a feeling the WI will get up today - for their only win of the series.

  • Phat-Boy on February 6, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    Yeah ESPNbug, drop the guy who took 3-48 in the last game.

    Great selection policy.

  • Samarian on February 6, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Calls for Sammy's replacement are grossly unjust and do not reflect common sense. Fortunately persons of substance who have played the game do not share that opinion and recognize Sammy's overall value to the West Indies Team.

  • dummy4fb on February 5, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    Open the batting with Maxwell and Starc then they can relax before their bowling.

  • WTEH on February 5, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Well Sammy may be your killer punch will be only good enough for Bangladesh

  • cricketWI on February 5, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    West Indies cricket in ODIs is not yet on the rise, not because they are losing (because even top teams lose matches), but simply the because the way in which they lose. They are showing no fight despite having so many star players, which in fact should certainly win games for them. Even if West Indies win every game they play against Zimbabwe, it still doesn't prove anything. When you look at the players in West Indies' side, you would think that they should be doing so much better in world cricket.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on February 5, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Doherty's back! Horay! Yet another aussie cricketer who had their career ruined/ended by England is given a 30th chance just because there is no one else! LOL.