April 15, 2003

Aussies reconsider five-bowler option


Australia's bold move to field five specialist bowlers in its first Test victory over the West Indies could be short-lived depending on conditions in Trinidad for Saturday's second Test.

Selectors will wait for news on the wicket in Port of Spain before deciding if one of the bowlers used successfully in the nine-wicket victory in Georgetown will be dropped for batsman Martin Love.

Captain Steve Waugh wouldn't be drawn into speculation on the likely team until the Australians arrived in Trinidad on Tuesday after spending almost two weeks in Georgetown.

"We'll have to wait and see what's presented at Trinidad. I hear the wicket is going to be a bit of a turner so we'll have to wait and see," Waugh said.

"[Five bowlers] worked pretty well but I'm not sure whether we're going to go back to four bowlers the next Test."

Pacemen Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Andrew Bichel and wrist spinners Stuart MacGill and Brad Hogg all claimed wickets on the lifeless Bourda pitch.

The Australians, who enjoyed a rest day after winning the opening clash inside four days, expect a tougher battle in the second Test with Windies selectors likely to name vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and batsman Chris Gayle.

The pair was absent from the first Test as the Windies battled a distracting lead-up with the sackings of captain Carl Hooper and coach Roger Harper.

Recalled skipper Brian Lara, who was a controversial appointment, was booed by some spectators despite his excellent century in the second innings amid claims the Windies weren't a harmonious team.

Acting coach Gus Logie said Lara had the full support of his players.

"There has been a lot of dissension in and around the camp. We are trying to make sure that is deleted as much as possible," Logie said.

"At this point of time it's very difficult to change techniques.

"We are trying to change the attitude - an attitude that says: 'I want to play for West Indies, I am committed to play for West Indies'.

"West Indies cricket means a lot to us and the players have expressed a desire to do that.

"They are quite willing, they have contributed to team meetings, more than previous times from my understanding."