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January 31, 2013
Garner. Richards. Ambrose. Lara. No Channel Nine, not anymore. The broadcaster's pre-series promo for Australia's ODI meetings with the West Indies was high on nostalgia and low on relevance, suggesting that either their advertising and marketing department have run out of ideas or they did not notice Darren Sammy's team win the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year. The West Indies did slip up in the limited overs matches that followed their Test victories in Bangladesh, and only a week into their time in Australia may find the going tough at the WACA ground against an Australian side that squared the Sri Lanka series with a closing win in Hobart.
The goal for both sides will be to settle further into a strong combination ahead of the Champions Trophy in England later this year, a prelude to the 2015 World Cup. Australia have plenty of players looking to turn occasional spots in the team into more frequent ones, not least James Faulkner, who has come into the side in place of the momentarily injured Moises Henriques, and Usman Khawaja, ditto for David Warner. West Indies are reintegrating Ramnaresh Sarwan after a period of mutual discontent and legal action, while Sunil Narine will be among those hoping to demonstrate their ability to deliver strong results on surfaces beyond their home region.
Whoever is chosen for West Indies, they have been given some motivation already by television's choice that it is better to ignore the present day completely while enticing viewers to watch. Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and company will be hoping to provide something more vibrant than nostalgia for the 1980s and 1990s.
Form guide(Most recent first)
In the spotlight
An injury to David Warner has offered Usman Khawaja the chance for a better run at securing an ODI place, following his bizarre one-match stint against Sri Lanka. Khawaja showed comfort against the West Indies bowlers in the tour opener at Manuka Oval, though he did so on a pitch far less lively than that which may be expected in Perth. Having manufactured a couple of run outs in recent times Khawaja's fielding is improving, and he now has the added assurance of knowing he will be flying to India for the forthcoming Tests.
More than 18 months since he last played for the West Indies, Ramnaresh Sarwan has the potential to add worthwhile solidity to a batting line-up composed largely of dashers. His absence from the team was for quite fractious reasons, and it has taken considerable magnanimity by both player and management for Sarwan to return. If he struggled a tad for timing during the opening tour match in Canberra, Sarwan's ability to rotate the strike did not go unnoticed.
Clarke left Xavier Doherty out of his final XI for the opening ODI. David Warner's thumb fracture means Usman Khawaja will slot somewhere into the top four, while James Faulkner's debut will give Australia no fewer than three left-arm pacemen.
Australia 1 Phillip Hughes, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Usman Khawaja, 5 George Bailey, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Clint McKay.
Kieran Powell has recovered from the cramp that forced him to retire hurt in Canberra, but Andre Russell has a sore knee that limited his bowling in the tour opener and will be given until match-day to prove his fitness. Kemar Roach may miss the first game having only joined the squad in Perth after personal leave at home.
West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieron Powell, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Devon Thomas (wk), 10 Tino Best, 11 Sunil Narine.
Pitch and conditions
Perth's forecast is for a hot, dry day peaking at 37C. The WACA pitch is expected to be speedy, as evidenced by Australia's omission of Doherty.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"I feel really good. My ankle's come along really well after spraining it in Hobart. I'm at full fitness. I've been doing all my running. I've had plenty of batting since I've been here, some bowling and lots of fielding. I'm 100 per cent and looking forward to being out there."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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