West Indies set sights on drawn series
Sunday, February 14, Gabba
Start time 1325 (0325 GMT)
The Big PictureWest Indies' hopes of their first win were washed away by the rain in Sydney, ending their remote chances of taking the series. Australia still lead 2-0 and the best the tourists can hope for now is a drawn series. If they manage that it will feel like a victory.
Brisbane hosts the fourth game and the bouncy Gabba isn't very friendly for touring batsmen, especially when sultry conditions force more curl from the ball. In Tests the ground is a fortress but in one-day internationals Australia do give their opponents a chance.
However, after their stuttering batting performance in Sydney - the total of 225 was hard to gauge without West Indies' reply - they will want to purr again and collect the series without needing the final game in Melbourne. Shane Watson has been called back from his break to replace Shaun Marsh, who has a sore back, and the move shows the serious mood of the locals.
Form guide (most recent first)Australia NWWWW
West Indies NLLLL
Watch out for...Wavell Hinds on Friday played his first international match in three and a half years but the wash-out meant a further wait for the chance to bat. He adds experience to an order missing Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo, and he is in fine domestic form, averaging 110 in the regional four-day competition this season.
It takes a lot for a player to be brought back early from a scheduled break, but Shane Watson has become one of Australia's most important men. Last year it happened to Ricky Ponting, thanks to a heavy influence from the host broadcaster, and Marsh's back has forced Watson's return this time. Don't expect Watson to bowl much, but watch out for his powerful batting on his former ground, where his highest ODI score is 44.
Team newsAdam Voges was the late replacement for Marsh in Sydney and made a scratchy 8, so he will be lucky to get another go. Watson should partner Tim Paine at the top while James Hopes is expected to hold his spot on his home ground.
Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Ryan Harris, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Doug Bollinger.
Kemar Roach missed the game in Sydney with a sore left ankle and while the injury is not serious, he is expected to sit out again. That should give Darren Sammy the chance to retain his place after removing Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.
West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Travis Dowlin, 3 Narsingh Deonarine, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Wavell Hinds, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Dwayne Smith, 9 Darren Sammy, 10 Nikita Miller, 11 Ravi Rampaul.
Pitch and conditionsAfter the slowish pitch in Sydney, the players will be happy for one with more speed in Brisbane, although it may carry the same patches of green. Brisbane has been warm and muggy throughout the week and those conditions should be repeated on Sunday, giving the bowlers some extra assistance with swing and seam. The forecast says there is a chance of a light shower and the high is expected to be 32C.
Stats and trivia
- West Indies have a great record at the Gabba, winning 16 of 21 ODIs there, but their last victory was in 2001
- Australia's only win in seven completed ODIs against West Indies in Brisbane came in 2001
- Brian Lara has the second highest number of runs at the ground with 400 in 11 matches and Richie Richardson, Carl Hooper and Desmond Haynes are in the top six. Four West Indians make the top 10 of the bowling table too
- If Gayle is true to form, the toss will be irrelevant and Australia will bat first. In 11 completed innings doing that in Brisbane, Australia have an average score of 243 for the loss of six wickets.
Quotes"Even though they are 2-0 up, we actually can bounce back. They will come at us hard. It's going to be a tough battle and there are two games to go so it's must-win for us."
"It would be pretty special, particularly coming into this summer when there were a lot of question marks over the team, and maybe within our own group there were a lot of questions we had to answer. I think we have done that in fine style this summer."
Michael Hussey on Australia's chance for a perfect season
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.