Australia v West Indies, World T20 2012, Group B, Colombo September 21, 2012

In-form Australia aim to pass strong Caribbean test

63

Match facts

September 22, 2012
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

Australia and West Indies entered this tournament with vastly different expectations placed upon them. Although the Australians were quietly confident, plenty of people saw their form, ranking and not-so-settled side as an indication they would struggle. West Indies came in as one of the tournament favourites, the first time in a long while that they have been considered such a strong chance. Australia have already overcome Ireland and should West Indies do so as well, both these sides will progress to the next stage. But West Indies don't want to be placing themselves under any unnecessary pressure when they take on Ireland so victory in this, their first match, is important. Not that Australia will be a pushover - the teams drew 1-1 when they met for two T20s in the Caribbean earlier this year.

Everywhere you look in the West Indies line-up there are men seemingly made for T20. Chris Gayle at the top of the order. Kieron Pollard in the middle. Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Andre Russell. The best player in the IPL this year, the offspinner Sunil Narine. And the highly under-rated legspinner Samuel Badree, who has the best economy rate of any bowler in T20 history (with a minimum qualification of 300 balls). Badree goes for 4.59 an over, on average. If every bowler in a team managed that, the opposition wouldn't even rack up a hundred. But for all of their star power, West Indies haven't really turned their potential into results. In the past year, they have won four T20s and lost four. Overall, they are the only ICC Full Member besides Bangladesh to have lost more T20s than they have won. Much greater consistency is what they will require to go all the way in this tournament.

For Australia, the opening victory against Ireland has provided a handy bit of breathing space and they know that victory against West Indies will put them through to the Super Eights. There have been minor health worries for the veteran spinner Brad Hogg and the fast bowler Mitchell Starc over the past couple of days, but both are still in contention to take their places against West Indies.

Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)

Australia WWLLW
West Indies WWLWL

Watch out for

On the ICC's rankings for T20 international allrounders, it is Shane Watson and then daylight. Against Ireland on Wednesday he showed why, with 3 for 26 and 51 from 30 deliveries, ensuring there were no nasty surprises for the Australians in their opening game. Notably, he also made important contributions in both T20s against West Indies earlier this year in the Caribbean, and his 69 in the first match was the highest score in the two-game series.

Australia are aware of their potential weakness against high-class spinners with hard-to-read variations - Saeed Ajmal showed that in the UAE recently - and Sunil Narine fits that category. He baffled the Australians during the ODIs in the West Indies earlier this year, although they managed to survive against him in the T20s that followed. Australia's coach Mickey Arthur believes attacking Narine might be the best approach. "He's always going to be a factor, like Ajmal for Pakistan and [Ajantha] Mendis for Sri Lanka," Arthur said. "I think if we can put him under just a little bit of pressure, that's something we haven't been able to do with the spinners, we've always been a couple of wickets down, so we haven't been able to attack Ajmal, or Narine in the West Indies where it turned massively."

Team news

Australia had a couple of minor concerns in the lead-up to the match, with the veteran spinner Brad Hogg having missed training on Thursday due to a headache and flu-like symptoms, while Mitchell Starc also sat out due to gastro. Xavier Doherty has rejoined the squad having made a quick dash home to be at the birth of his child, while Clint McKay and Ben Hilfenhaus are the backup fast men in the squad. However, the captain George Bailey on Thursday played down the possibility of Starc and Hogg missing the match.

"They're all right," Bailey said. "Training is quiet without Hoggy, [but] he's pretty good and from all reports Starcy was certainly on the mend. We'll make a call."

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Michael Hussey, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Cameron White, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Daniel Christian, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Brad Hogg/Xavier Doherty.

The West Indies selectors have plenty of options and their final decision will depend on how they believe the side should be balanced. Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle appear likely to open and there is the possibility of a dual spin attack with Narine and Badree likely to enjoy working on the pitches in Sri Lanka.

West Indies (squad) Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (capt), Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Fidel Edwards.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at the Premadasa was hard on the opening day of matches there on Wednesday, and there were runs available for the batsmen. It is expected to remain reasonably hard for the early stages of the tournament.

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies could find themselves a little rusty if they are forced to chase in this match, for they have batted first in their past eight T20 internationals. The last time they chased was against India in Trinidad last year, the only time in the past two years West Indies have batted second
  • Chris Gayle's strike rate of 153.47 in the World T20 is the highest amongst players who have batted at least ten World T20 innings

Quotes

"It's good to come into the tournament and have people show us the kind of respect and admiration to rate us among the top teams."
West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo

"They are one of the best fielding sides around in the world and that counts for a lot in T20."
George Bailey on one of West Indies' strengths

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on September 22, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    I am struggling to see the same paper that others are referring to. Looking down the list....WI are still just Chris Gayle.

  • Akshita29 on September 22, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Why No Russel. He was so good against kiwis . Really unfortunate that they cant find a place for russel.

  • landl47 on September 22, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    West Indies has the more explosive batting, Australia has more depth in bowling. It matters more to the WI, because they could have a bad day and lose to Ireland, so they need to win this one. However, if they lose Gayle early, they could easily fold up. For Aus, unless the top 3 get runs, they won't be able to post (or chase) a big total. They will keep fighting, though, and their bowlers will keep it tight. If they were playing a 21-game series, I'd pick the Aussies, but one game? Whoever gets the best start will likely win.

  • on September 22, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    West Indies is one of the toughest side in this T20 World Cup.

  • whatawicket on September 22, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    with the SL v SA game looking as a very shortened game. this look to be the 1st of the list games were there is good quality, who will win i fancy the underdog and expect the aussies to win.

  • whatawicket on September 22, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    the aussies will fancy their chances as they beat the mighty ireland quite easy in the last game and to beat a team that well will give them confidence that they may have lacked. on paper the WIs seem to have all the bases covered, but they dont seem as a team to click. if they can do for as many games as it takes to reach the final, then i expect them to win, because as a team they have good individual players in i guess 9 out of the 11 positions of their best 11.

  • satanswish on September 22, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    If Chris Gayle gets going, it looks hard night for the aussies.

  • unregisteredalien on September 22, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    @Drew Foster, I agree with your assessment of how T20 is, but I incline towards @Meety's predictions for its fate. At least, I hope so. I just can't see how its current prominence is helping cricket.

  • Trapper439 on September 22, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    @christened: England must be a truly special side if they can win games they're not even involved in.

  • OhPakistan on September 22, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Distinct possibility that we may be watching the ultimate WINNER of this tournament ! W.I. or Australia ??????

  • one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on September 22, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    I am struggling to see the same paper that others are referring to. Looking down the list....WI are still just Chris Gayle.

  • Akshita29 on September 22, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Why No Russel. He was so good against kiwis . Really unfortunate that they cant find a place for russel.

  • landl47 on September 22, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    West Indies has the more explosive batting, Australia has more depth in bowling. It matters more to the WI, because they could have a bad day and lose to Ireland, so they need to win this one. However, if they lose Gayle early, they could easily fold up. For Aus, unless the top 3 get runs, they won't be able to post (or chase) a big total. They will keep fighting, though, and their bowlers will keep it tight. If they were playing a 21-game series, I'd pick the Aussies, but one game? Whoever gets the best start will likely win.

  • on September 22, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    West Indies is one of the toughest side in this T20 World Cup.

  • whatawicket on September 22, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    with the SL v SA game looking as a very shortened game. this look to be the 1st of the list games were there is good quality, who will win i fancy the underdog and expect the aussies to win.

  • whatawicket on September 22, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    the aussies will fancy their chances as they beat the mighty ireland quite easy in the last game and to beat a team that well will give them confidence that they may have lacked. on paper the WIs seem to have all the bases covered, but they dont seem as a team to click. if they can do for as many games as it takes to reach the final, then i expect them to win, because as a team they have good individual players in i guess 9 out of the 11 positions of their best 11.

  • satanswish on September 22, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    If Chris Gayle gets going, it looks hard night for the aussies.

  • unregisteredalien on September 22, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    @Drew Foster, I agree with your assessment of how T20 is, but I incline towards @Meety's predictions for its fate. At least, I hope so. I just can't see how its current prominence is helping cricket.

  • Trapper439 on September 22, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    @christened: England must be a truly special side if they can win games they're not even involved in.

  • OhPakistan on September 22, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Distinct possibility that we may be watching the ultimate WINNER of this tournament ! W.I. or Australia ??????

  • Dipayan11 on September 22, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    AUSTRALIA will win easily .......watch Shane Watson Show.

  • Marcio on September 22, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Teams don't win on paper, but on the field. The WI have to click as a team. Should be a good game, even though the outcome is unimportant. It's very unlikely the Irish will beat the WI in the other game, so this is effectively another warm up game. Conditions may suit Australia more, if the pitch is as pacy as others. I hope Hogg and Starc play, as they are both fine bowlers and keys to Australia's success, but if they are unwell they might as well rest till the knock out stages. I have a feeling tonight will be the WI night. But in the end the result means nothing, as even if one team wins by a 100 runs, in their next encounter the result could reverse. That is the nature of the T20 game.

  • kamranmalik7 on September 22, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Australia should go with their young fast bowlers with excluding hilfanhas and Clint Mikay. I still feel there is a need for Shaun Marsh in the side. My team will be: Watson, Warner, Shaun Marsh, Mike Hussy, David Hussy, Cameron White, Wade, Patinson,Cummins, Mitchel Starc, Brad Hog Still wish to see Windies win the game and reach to final.

  • on September 22, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Australian side is their D side

  • christened on September 22, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    england is gonna win this match as well as the tournmanet: mark my words dudes....:)))))

  • siddheshsawant on September 22, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    It is Gayle vs Watson, eagerly waiting for the contest. One of the blockbusters of the tournament

  • on September 22, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    CHRIS GAYLE WIL BE THE DIFFERENCE IF HE GETS GOING AUSTRALIA WILL BE IN TROUBLE

  • MathewCyriac on September 22, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Tough for Aussies with the likes of Gayle, Pollard and Narine in the windies team. ...

  • bouncedout on September 22, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Shouldbe easy for the Windies. Aus have little ability. They also have no depth as evidenced by their over reliance on Watson, the worst all rounder in international cricket

  • stavic786 on September 22, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Australians looking for an upset.....

  • 76521275 on September 22, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    i am big fan of gayle iwant to see w.i bating frist

  • HawksEyeFocused on September 22, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Being Pakistani we always support Sri Lanka but let's the better side win this time!!! Love from Pakistan to Sri Lankan bros.

  • BrisVegan on September 22, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    All the punters here claiming WI will thrash or "walk all over" Australia - I would wait until the game is over, before posting such comments, lest you look foolish afterwards. As for myself, if Oz loses, no harm done. I would not claim an automatic victory beforehand, but would not be surprised in the slightest at an Aussie victory as I know what we're capable of. Cheers and may the best team on the day win.

  • msgupta on September 22, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    we can say 20/20 world cup start now,,,thay are ready to such big encounter of the 2012 world cup 20/20,,,,,,,so hope fuuly South A,, and Lanka and Assus and westindian to show grt fun today,,,so enjoy ur grt wekand frnds,

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 22, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    Gayle clicks and Narine picks. Case closed.

  • xylo on September 22, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    The true World Cup starts from tomorrow!

  • on September 22, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    @Potatis: Nice comment, most hard core WI fans have a blind spot with respect to their star players.

  • BG4cricket on September 22, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    Should be a terrific match and I think quite close providing Australia get a good start with Watson and Warner and Starc and Cummins may prove a handful as well. The WI bowling apart from Russell and Narine is not great but they have great strike power down to number 9 with the batting so realistically could go either way especially if Gayle goes early.

  • on September 22, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    take cover. Gayle storm to hit lanka today. The entire cricket world is waiting!!! Go Windies..... I am Indian but support Windies all the way!!

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 22, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    If the West Indies do harbour serious hopes of lifting the trophy, they need to be battering team like these.

  • kickittome70 on September 22, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    I'm an Aussie fan and I'm extremely concerned about our chances against the firepower of a resurgent WI. With Gayle back there at the top of the order, the gamechanger button is hit. I think the main reason the Master Blaster 2 (Gayle) came back is soley due to Sammy's captaincy. Him being there changes everything. WI is well captained by a shrewd and creative man. Dareren Sammy's players love to play for him. You can see it in the way they respond to him. About this player adoration, it doesnt hurt him that he is about as cool as a mountain of ice blocks. Then there are gamebreakers throughout their list. Pollard, Narine, Smith and always dangerous Bravo Sr. ON the flipside, their secondstringers are pretty inexperienced but their superstars are so good it almost doesnt matter. If Gayle clicks then they will post a good score. I cannot imagine that the Aussies havent worried about containing the biggest hitter the game has ever seen. WE have to get him out cheap or lights out Austraia

  • Potatis on September 22, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Chris Gayle? No problem, bowl Doug Bollinger! Where is he? Oh.

  • Tiger-Don on September 22, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    Lets go T20! hoping for a great game

  • richlove910 on September 22, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    HI ANYONE,IS THE GAME SHOWING LIVE ON TV

  • coba on September 22, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    west indies all the way the champions of champions

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 22, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    West indies is going to walk over the Aussies, who are among the weakest Teams along with my team India.

  • on September 21, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    The West Indies will defeat Australia hands down come 9/22/12. in its first T20 W/ cup match.

  • ausfor4 on September 21, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    Australia to win this one. West Indies will be slow to get things going in this tournament.

  • on September 21, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    I hope WI win the match. my team will be :1.Gayle2.Smith3. Samuels4.Bravo5. Pollard6.Russell7.Ramdin8.Sammy9. Rampaul 10.Narine and 11.Badree

  • on September 21, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    HALA SAMMY AND THE WINDIESSSSSS!!!!! TIME FOR REVENGE ON AUSTRALIA

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 21, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    I think WI will win this one. Australia are AVERAGE. Their bowling is half decent and the batting is frail with the exception of Watson and Warner. WI have several match winners among their ranks and all BIG BUCK players. If Gayle clicks, it's game over. WI all the way baby ! :D

  • Metman on September 21, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    Badrees' economy rate of 4.59 is at the local level......he has played 5 times in WI colours and has ONLY taken 2 wickets @ 57 runs apiece

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on September 21, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    I wanna see Gayle smack Watson around the park and then go up to his face and call him a white boy.

  • on September 21, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    This is T20...any team can win, depends who gets lucky. It will definitely be an exciting match.

  • on September 21, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    The Windies are the dark horse in this competition!

  • A_Vacant_Slip on September 21, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    How can Australia be in form? They just lost warm-up to England? Australia are very average side. Any format.

  • Meety on September 21, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    @Drew Foster, I am not a fan of T20 cricket, but I don't see the format dying off. I think it will be prolific in Franchise/League formats, & would like to see the T20 W/Cup abolished (after Oz win it). I think T20 is the format that ultimately will/would be picked up by the Olympics. If this were to happen, we could ditch the T20 W/Cup easily.

  • on September 21, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    West Indies on paper have one of the strongest if not the strongest team forn this T20WC.............but i wonder if the commitment is their for those who have lucrative contracts with the IPL...........would not want to risk injury...........so let see what happens!

  • renuide on September 21, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    West indies squad : gayle charles samuels dwayne bravo pollard russel sammy ramdin rampaul narine badree in batting order.

  • amrit4388 on September 21, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    My WI X11 will be :

    Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (capt), Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine .

    They have all the potential to beat Aussies but Team effort is required and they can be winners this time with variety of players they have .

  • WickyRoy.paklover on September 21, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    Windies R hit or miss team n R needlesly ovr.hypd by indians fans purely bcoz wi's smash avrage indian bowlrs in ipl

  • on September 21, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    With WI being the favorite over Aus is something to watch.....interesting and good for the game.

  • whatawicket on September 21, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    drew any T20 by the very nature of the game is won by luck but good cricketing skills along with abit of luck wins more game than it looses. i take it this game will last because india as ipl will make it so, even though they as a national team are poor

  • on September 21, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    West Indies ll win............................

  • satesh2401 on September 21, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Go Windies!!! Make the Caribbean proud!!! Give it a 100% guys!!!

  • DWO1 on September 21, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Take the fight to them Windies. Time to regain your rightful position in World Class cricket ...

  • on September 21, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    As with all t20 matches, E(W) ~ E(L) = 0.5. In this type of thing, the margin between a win and loss is negligible. That is because the outcome could easily be reversed the next day, not with any significant change in the character or one team or the other, but simply by luck. The fact is, and it is undeniable, that the results are random. If these games are going to continue (which I hope they are not) then they would need to increase the number of internationals played by an extraordinary amount to justify the game itself. I don't see this happening, so a t20 win is just a win, and without any other significance, this form will die off. The fans who like to watch need a team to support, but when they realise it is a 50/50 game, they too will die off.

  • Mikecricket on September 21, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Aussies should Win we have Watto

  • on September 21, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    i said this many times and im saying it again, WU players are not international players,, they are just domestic players and Ireland will surely knock them off, let alone Aussies

  • on September 21, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Watto should ready all of his swear words for this match, cos he's gonna need every one of 'em. How happy Gayle would be to smash Aussies out of the park!

  • on September 21, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    WI will win easily for sure.

  • OmanBiek on September 21, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle's question will be answered in this game.

  • on September 21, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    The list of players presented in the above article notwithstanding, Messrs Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine will determine how far West Indies go in this tournament.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on September 21, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    The list of players presented in the above article notwithstanding, Messrs Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine will determine how far West Indies go in this tournament.

  • OmanBiek on September 21, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle's question will be answered in this game.

  • on September 21, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    WI will win easily for sure.

  • on September 21, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Watto should ready all of his swear words for this match, cos he's gonna need every one of 'em. How happy Gayle would be to smash Aussies out of the park!

  • on September 21, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    i said this many times and im saying it again, WU players are not international players,, they are just domestic players and Ireland will surely knock them off, let alone Aussies

  • Mikecricket on September 21, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Aussies should Win we have Watto

  • on September 21, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    As with all t20 matches, E(W) ~ E(L) = 0.5. In this type of thing, the margin between a win and loss is negligible. That is because the outcome could easily be reversed the next day, not with any significant change in the character or one team or the other, but simply by luck. The fact is, and it is undeniable, that the results are random. If these games are going to continue (which I hope they are not) then they would need to increase the number of internationals played by an extraordinary amount to justify the game itself. I don't see this happening, so a t20 win is just a win, and without any other significance, this form will die off. The fans who like to watch need a team to support, but when they realise it is a 50/50 game, they too will die off.

  • DWO1 on September 21, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Take the fight to them Windies. Time to regain your rightful position in World Class cricket ...

  • satesh2401 on September 21, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Go Windies!!! Make the Caribbean proud!!! Give it a 100% guys!!!

  • on September 21, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    West Indies ll win............................