Australia v West Indies, 2nd semi-final, World Twenty20, Colombo

Expectations raised for both teams

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

October 4, 2012

Comments: 55 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey's half-century ensured Australia qualified for the semi-finals, Australia v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20 2012, Colombo, October 2, 2012
Michael Hussey rescued Australia to ensure their qualification for the semi-final. © AFP

Match facts

October 5, 2012
Start time 1900 (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

When Australia and West Indies met earlier in this World Twenty20, the match was set up for a fascinating finish when rain intervened. The Australians had struggled to contain Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels and West Indies had powered to 191 - easily the highest total Australia have conceded in the tournament. The chase was tantalisingly poised at 100 for 1 in the tenth over when the rain came. Nearly two weeks later, the stakes are considerably higher. That encounter should serve as a warning to both sides. It reminded Australia that if they don't get Gayle cheaply they will find themselves under the kind of pressure that could be tournament-ending. And it showed West Indies that runs on the board are of no value unless your bowlers are up to the job - especially when Shane Watson is around.

But as much as lessons can be learnt from that match, the expectations on each of the sides have changed significantly since then. Australia entered the tournament without being rated a serious threat by many observers, but they and Pakistan have been the stand-out sides. West Indies flew in to Sri Lanka expected to have their best chance of a global trophy in quite some time, yet remarkably they have scraped through to the semi-finals by winning only one match in the conventional way - they have also had a tie that turned into a victory via the Super Over, a wash-out and a pair of losses. They need this to be the match when they really kick into gear.

It is worth noting that the toss is likely to be irrelevant in this encounter. Australia prefer to chase and have done so in every match of this World T20. West Indies like to bat first, and not since June 2011 have they chased a target - the only time they were to bat second in that time was against Ireland earlier in this tournament, when rain prevented a second innings.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Australia LWWWW
West Indies WLWLW

Watch out for

All the attention has been on Shane Watson but Michael Hussey has been quietly racking up the runs at No. 3. His work against Pakistan was outstanding, when under pressure he did enough to get the Australians past the mark at which they qualified for the semi-finals, even if victory was too tall a task. His experience and coolness at the crease will be just what the Australians need at the business end of this tournament - his 60 from 24 balls against Pakistan in the semi-final of the 2010 World T20 is evidence of that. The captain George Bailey summed Hussey up thus: "You might not be feeling like he's hurting you but suddenly you look up at the scoreboard and he has just ticked along. More importantly, it seems whenever he's batting, the partnership motors along."

Who else but Chris Gayle? West Indies have other players who can be destructive, but he is the one man Australia know can turf them out of the tournament on his own. He struck 54 against them in the group stage and although he has not produced an enormous innings yet in this World T20, he has threatened to do so. "He is the one guy who makes you panic a lot more because he takes you on," Australia's coach Mickey Arthur said. "The longer he bats, the more he becomes tougher to bowl at ... It becomes tough when you're executing under that much pressure to a guy like Chris Gayle because if you miss your area by that much, he scores, but I'm confident we have the artillery to keep that in check."

Team news

Australia will consider bringing the T20 veteran David Hussey in and the likely candidate to miss out would be Glenn Maxwell. However, that is far from certain and would almost certainly be the only change.

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

West Indies are likely to again choose the twin spin options of Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree on the wearing Premadasa pitch. It seems unlikely that any of Fidel Edwards, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons or Dwayne Smith will be able to force their way in.

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Samuel Badree, 11 Ravi Rampaul.

Stats and trivia

  • This is the second time West Indies have reached the World T20 semi-finals; in 2009 they lost to Sri Lanka when Gayle scored 63 but nobody else in the side reached double figures
  • Shane Watson is the leading wicket taker and run scorer in the tournament


"Their batting is no doubt their strength. If you can knock [Gayle] over early it really does put pressure on the rest of their batsmen to step up."
George Bailey

"We like to play against them. We had a good series against them in the Caribbean in the T20s and the ODIs...we know they're a good side, but no one in our team fears them."
Toby Radford, the West Indies' assistant coach.

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

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 5, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

@Sukavana Rajan (post on October 05 2012, 12:48 PM GMT): how's that confidence now then!? Bad luck... it's a frustrating game this cricket, isn't it!

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

I am confident that Australia are going to win this tournament.

Posted by DDrocks on (October 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

You guys keep talking about Aussies winning and a few about a WI win. Why not discuss strategy instead? Whoever wins the toss, should BAT first. That is the way the PD pitch has turned out to prove over the latest several matches... (read) Ind v SA, Pak v AUS, and more recently SL v PAK.

Posted by KunzMan on (October 5, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Australia better lose today else our LIONS will humiliate you on Sunday! We are the Lankan lions and we always ROAR!!! .... MEEOOWW!!

Posted by seniorgators on (October 5, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

@Rogerunionjack No nightmares. I just remember the supreme dominance Australia has shown in the past twenty years and the fact they are the only team (obviously) to have a superior win loss ratio over EVERY OTHER nation in both Tests and One day games and by some margin. Of course if I had constantly been sniping at the opposition teams and their players and my team had been knocked out and the very team I had been mercilessly slagging was starting to look like it might win the cup THEN it would be a case of my worst dreams being fulfilled!

Posted by Late-Cut on (October 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

@mathewjohn2176 ; Well, Mahela didn't say anything coz he wasn't the captain at that time. Sanga was. I am not going to take anything away from your awesome victory or anything. All I'm saying, you won, we lost. but we took the loss like real sportsmen and fans. Its you (from captain to fan) who dwell about your defeats and making silly excuses. Did you see the Watson's face when Dhoni talked about 7 mins rain. He (Watson) crushed the pride of Indian Cricket by one LIL SMIRK. Once upon a time we knew great cricketers like Dravid (one of my fav.), Kapil Dev and so on. But now you've got a money & fame loving, arrogant XI who can hit the ball. May be you don't quite see it.We do. But I don't blame ya..

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

its going to be WI... we want to see malinga vs gayle...

Posted by oval77 on (October 5, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Good luck to both teams - I think this one's really too close to call, it depends on which WI turn up on the day. Also Sammy MUST bowl first. As an Englishman I usually cheer (tongue-in-cheek) for 'anyone but Australia' but I've been impressed by them this tournament especially Watson and an excellent performance by Doherty. A Windies shot at the final will be fantastic for the broader game.

Posted by GauravJS on (October 5, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

I am an indian and supporting d best team. Go AUS Go.

Posted by GauravJS on (October 5, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

It seems like some people cheering WI because they all hate AUS but i will say in this WC , Australia is d only team which is dominant to win this tournament.And yeah I am an Iandian but supporting Aus because they deserve to win thi wc. Go Aus Go.

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (October 5, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

Looking forward to the SL WI final!!! :)

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

India couldn't play cricket at all.....they had offday in the game against Pakistan and england (minus KP) with other team they played normal cricket with their caliber and now they are blaming water god ( they were praying for same god in 2003 wc final) and aussie team for early exit from wt20......stop blaming game and go throu basics.......for me its 55-45 to WI but still hope aussies will carry the cup....thats the only thing they are missing in their store.

Posted by ravikiran.bits on (October 5, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

great contest of the torunament. i would have liked to see this in final. WI were a very sad team few months ago. chris gayle adds a new dimension to them. polard haven't produced any innings he is due now. igf WI gets watson early in the innings. they have a real chance. if watson scores then it will be all over for WI, it will be left entirely on gayle force

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (October 5, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

@ seniorgators - you mean nightmares similar to what you've been experiencing over the past three Ashes, the ODI series this summer, and the one warm up two weeks ago :) As for my predictions, these are no different from the 5-0 ones that Glenn McGrath keeps prophesizing at the start of each Ashes! But I do wish your team luck, and if you guys lift the trophy, enjoy the next twentyfour months. No hard feelings mate!

Posted by seniorgators on (October 5, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

@ Rogerunionjack i thought it was time for you to say adieu with the dismal failure of England. You are batting about 1 from 10 on your predictions so that makes Aussies raging favourites. Only a few more sleeps till the possibility of your worst nightmare my friend with an OZ World Cup victory.

Posted by ThumpingWin on (October 5, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

People are talking about Australia only depending on W's and tail starting at no 4 lolz.. Then what do u call West Indies without Gayle the tail starts at no 3.. They luckily got to semi final they did not deserve a spot.. Would have been curtains for them had the super over been given to Jacob Oram rather than Southee.. West Indies are limping around in search of cup and not winning.. Australia is going to win.. Go Aussie Go..

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

You Indian fans crack me up. Sure, blame Australia for the reason that you're sitting at home doing your best Kohli impersonations, but not because we lost to Pakistan, because we thrashed you badly in the Super 8's just like the Tests and CB series 10 months ago.

Posted by ravikb on (October 5, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

@WI Fans, Is Ramdin really your first choice wicket keeper? I never saw him score runs. T20 is about multi-dimensional cricketers not like this man who just keeps wicket. He is good for nothing apart from showing disrespect to the great VIV the only time he scores some runs that too in a dead match.

Posted by Nion_Sol on (October 5, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

To all Indian fans who're still fretting over the fact that Sri Lankan fans supported Pakistan over India, things would've been much different if your players weren't so arrogant, and cared a bit about the spirit of Cricket. There were times where SL fans considered India their 2nd favourites, when gentlemen like Azharuddin, Kumble and Robin Singh were playing the game.

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (October 5, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Get ready for the most one sided contest in T20 history. One team which has atleast six individual match winners (Gayle, Bravo, Samuels, Naraine, Pollard & Russell) vs a team where the tail starts at No. 4.....that on a good day. Dismiss the two Ws, and game over. The Aussies have had more than their share of luck, which can only get you so far. Now it's time to say adieu.

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Go windies go ......we Indians r with u....let these aus know what this black gold can do

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (October 5, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

World is waiting for WI to come back big.. This is the time and WI has the talents... World cricket needs strong WI on field. Go WI go... :)

Posted by bipulkumar on (October 5, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

Pollard has been a liability in this tournament. Play Dwayne Smith instead.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (October 5, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

Aus will trash west indies... to enter the finals.. and then trash srilanka to lift the cup....Aus(WC champions 2012 )v SL(Hosts and perennial Runners up) in finals . W I's fairytail to be sWATTed today and the Aussies to get some valuable practice ahead of the finals -(Narine with quality spin ,although the rest of the bowling looks third rate to really help Aus batsmen with respect to providing any real; challenge other than boundary hitting drills....)the bowlers also to grab a bag of cheap wkts after getting Gayle for single digits . Hope WI does give some sort of a fight to Aus though its not going to matter much in the end.....

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 5, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

unchanged australia should go, or bring hussey in for white even though i am a fan of white and know what he can do hussey is just better against the spinners. maxwell has to play, the big show will be key with his spin and hitting down the order. im looking for hoggy to have a huge game he hasnt taken wickets in this tournament dispite bamboozling everyone he bowls too.

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

Makes me laugh, all the indian fans now backing the WI.Unless Gayle get a hundred the Windies won't win.

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

Aus will win it with a professional game style no matter who plays Australia. It's. not a team it's brand

Posted by   on (October 5, 2012, 0:20 GMT)

Once the "Double-W" fortress of Oz is breached, the inside castle is fragile. Only in one match the middle was exposed. If Michael Clarke & David Hussey were there, instead of Bailey & Maxwell, I would have been more confident... why just confident... almost sure about the dominace of OZ team over ANY other team in this tournament.

Posted by Htc-Android on (October 5, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

west indies holds a slight edge. its a low turining pitch and Aus will struggle against WI spinners.

Posted by No_1_again on (October 4, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

Go Aussie, fill that blank space in the cupboard in CA. Don't worry about these Indians they are fuming for their thrashing ( may be 10 nil next time to keep them quite - lol)

Posted by singhinderjit95 on (October 4, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

WARNING: if australia win this wt20, then get ready for another DECADE of aussie DOMINANCE

Posted by Jason_GyTrini on (October 4, 2012, 22:18 GMT)

Drop Ramdin(wasting time as keeper alone; even Eng Dropped Kieswetter), Charles(Dot ball specialist and pressuring CG) & Rampaul(Bowling garbage in his 2nd spell)___So PlZzzzzz Drop dem___Semi XI: Gayle, Smith, Samuels, Simmons, Bravo, Pollard, Russell, Sammy, Narine, Badree, Edwards...

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (October 4, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

W.I need to drop Rampaul and bring in D Smith to boost the batting and fielding to win this - I'd also open with Badree and Gayle v Warner n Watson, All the focus will be on Gayle but Samuels has been the key batsman for W.I throughout the tournament hopefully at least 1 of them will go big tomorrow.

Posted by halberdierv2 on (October 4, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

Come on, Windies, we can do it! step up the bowling and we can make the finals!

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

C'mon windies, thrash Australia. Let Australia pay for their non spirited approach vs Pakistan.Gayle should rip apart Aussie bowling

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 19:29 GMT)

WI vs SL .......we love it guys

Posted by sunny346 on (October 4, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

Come on WI u need to trash both Aus and Srilanka ...if Pakistan is the srilanka second Fav team ....But no doubt WI is the team whole indian fans Support as their second fav team.....gayle and narine will trash both Aus and srilanka indian fans will celebrate Wi win over srilanka .. as they did match against Ind vs Sa

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 4, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

It's a shame that McKay hasn't had a wee run out on the field yet. The surprising success of Doherty I suppose has scuppered any chances of that, unless Grandfather Hogg sits out for a game.

Posted by AnoMaLy on (October 4, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

Hoping Gayle fires! Go WI!

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

I REALLY HOPE SOMEONE FROM THE WEST INDIES COACHING STAFF READS MY COMMENT:- WI need to get rid of Rampaul, Charles and Ramdin for the semi final and final (if they qualify)...Johnson Charles continues not to turn over the strike building up dot balls and Ramdin's role in the team as wicket keeper alone cannot continue; when we have both Simmons and DM Bravo who can keep and score at a fast rate(even Eng dropped Kieswetter in their last match) and Rampaul has leaked a lot of runs especially in his 2nd spell... So my XI for semi:- 1. Gayle, 2. Smith, 3. Simmons, 4. Samuels, 5. DJ Bravo, 6. Pollard, 7. Russell, 8. Sammy, 9. Narine, 10. Badree, 11. Edwards

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

anybody can understand y the comments 4 dz s dz mch low! ;)

Posted by cricke on (October 4, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

One thing is for sure that if Watson & Warner fail,Australia will fail and if Gayle,Samuels & Narine fail,Westindies will fail.I feel Westindies have a slight advantage.

Posted by TestsAreMilesAhead on (October 4, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

indians must stop criticizing other teams and look after their team. they got out of the tournament and keep blaming the best side of the trophy like aus ,sl and pak.

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

I don't feel that the Australian middle order is as bad as everybody says it is. Sure, they struggled against the quality spin from Pakistan, but then which team hasn't. I am sure they will perform against any lesser bowling attack. And I don't think Narine's bowling is that mysterious - technically adept batsmen have played well against him.

Posted by Ricciardo2014 on (October 4, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

Australia must play David Hussey for more stability in the middle order. They can continue the Glenn Maxwell experiment after the world cup. C'mon Oz!

Posted by hasan.raza on (October 4, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

david hussey is better than anyone in this australian side except watson,warner and michael hussey .. i wonder how could they keep sitting him on the bench when he can bowl tight spin overs and can play spin better than anyone except michael hussey on these spin friendly pitches.

Posted by gayansumeera2 on (October 4, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

Suddenly all of the indians are supporting Windies now

Posted by baranasai on (October 4, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

I only want to support windies for they are very good /every body like them..About aussies -They have a good chance only if they get Gayle cheaply and put pressure on others.I have no doubt aussies will score heavily if they bat first but this is what windies should stop-their fast and slow bolwlers should find their rythm and if they bat well then there is a fair chnace.I feel it is australia 60 windies 40./Common Chris bat well cio tomorrow

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

go for it Windies... do well and win this for the sake of Cricket...

Posted by xylo on (October 4, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

I believe the player who can make or break it for West Indies is Ravi Rampaul. If he doles out freebies, the contest is likely to be over soon. Sammy will have done well to open with Badree and Narine to go past Watson and Warner. Mike Hussey would be a tough one to dislodge though. If Australia can gain some common sense and get David Hussey into their team, their tail will no longer start at No.4.

Posted by sachsri on (October 4, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

cmon windies we indians are behind you and we love you and want to watch you holding the cup this time.cmon gayle show australia and watson what t20 is.

Posted by ShivCricIndia on (October 4, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Come on WI. Entire Indian nation is with you... Thrash the Aussies...1 small advice... Use Narine inside the powerplay overs and get "Watson", "Warner" and "Michael Hussey", then for god's sake match is over... and Please my favourite "Gayle" should bat atleast 15 overs if u Bat first... Give a thumping defeat n ruin the Aussies...Best of Luck...

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

go windies go 1.2 billion indians are with you I am an Indian and my 2nd favourite team is westindies for the sportiveness and enertainment they provide.On the other hand the so called professional australians showed their attitude on field in match against Pak.GO WI GO THRASH AUSTRALIANS

Posted by hashir86 on (October 4, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

George Bailey says if they get Gayle out early then it will put pressure on remaining batsman....what if Watson & Warner gets out early it will end their batting Their middle order has not spent much time in the middle and playing spin & darts of Badree Narine Gayle Samuels on a wearing pitch of Colombo will not be easy So it will be a evenly matched contest.... person standing between WI & Victory is Shane Watson Not to forget womens semifinal against the same opposition tomorrow Go Windies go and thrash aussies both in mens & womens semifinal

Posted by crazy.mechanic on (October 4, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

I am a big fan of Mr. Cricket, admire him deeply but the way he and the Australians batted against the Pakistanis showed some motive rather than general hard cricket that Australian side is famous for!! The respect for Australian team has plunged!

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days