|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Fantasy||Mobile|
February 7, 2013
Australia's victory in Canberra on Wednesday has turned this fourth match in Sydney and the fifth game in Melbourne on Sunday into dead rubbers. The best West Indies can hope for is a couple of consolation victories to transform the scoreline into a more respectable looking 3-2. Australia want to keep up their momentum and complete a 5-0 clean-sweep, especially if that means runs and wickets for the squad members who are due to fly to India shortly for a four-Test series. Both teams left Canberra with injury concerns, West Indies sweating on the fitness of Chris Gayle, who picked up a side injury while fielding in the third ODI, and Australia unsure about George Bailey, who hurt his hamstring during Australia's win. The fact that the series is decided means neither side is likely to be inclined to take a risk, which should mean at least one change for each team.
Form guide(Most recent first)
In the spotlight
Rarely has the term "in the spotlight" been used to describe Clint McKay. One of the lowest-profile members of Australia's squad, McKay was nonetheless the centre of attention for a short while on Monday night, when he was named Australia's One-Day International Cricketer of the Year at the Allan Border Medal ceremony in Melbourne. It was a well-deserved honour for a man who nearly always does his job, taking wickets and keeping the opposition batsmen in check with consistent bowling and subtle changes of pace. Since the start of 2012, only Lasith Malinga has taken more ODI wickets than McKay's 40 at an average of 23.00. No wonder he is the first picked member of Australia's one-day attack.
In Canberra, Kieron Pollard reminded everyone watching of just what an exciting player he can be when he took four catches, including a couple of stunners, especially his leaping, one-handed take on the boundary that got rid of Glenn Maxwell. Unfortunately for West Indies, he hasn't made the same kind of contributions with the batting during this series, with scores of 0, 1 and 9. West Indies need more from many players at the moment, none more so than Pollard.
Adam Voges has been added to Australia's squad as cover for Bailey and is likely to play his first one-day international in two years. Voges has impressive Ryobi Cup form behind him: in his past two innings he has made 77 not out and 112 for Western Australia. Xavier Doherty is also likely to be included at the SCG, possibly at the expense of Mitchell Johnson.
Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Phillip Hughes, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty.
Gayle had scans on Thursday to assess his side injury and a West Indies team spokesman said the results showed there was no major damage. However, Gayle remained stiff and sore and his availability will depend on a fitness test on the day of the game. If he sits out it could mean a call-up for Johnson Charles, while Narsingh Deonarine is also in the squad and might be considered as a replacement for the out-of-form Ramnaresh Sarwan.
West Indies (possible) 1 Kieron Powell, 2 Chris Gayle / Johnson Charles, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan / Narsingh Deonarine, 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
The SCG should bring spin into the equation, although it was mainly swing that caused Australia's batsmen problems at the venue in their ODI against Sri Lanka last month. The forecast for Friday in Sydney is for a sunny day and a maximum temperature of 27C.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"It's been a tough old summer for us. In terms of our one-day cricket we've been a little bit topsy-turvy and we've got some good momentum now so certainly we're not going to take the foot off the pedal."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
The former Indian openers haven't been shining lately, but the IPL presents an opportunity for them to show their class
They were making good progress in building a world-class side, but not getting rid of Kevin Pietersen after the texting saga in 2012 cost them greatly
Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and defeat
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi
Having the top Associate team play the lowest-ranked Test side without the threat of relegation shows how votes mean more to the ICC than results
Brian Lara's 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, while the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash
If they are to live up to their potential in next year's World Cup at home, they need to look within and search for inspiration pronto