West Indies v Australia, 1st Twenty20, Gros Islet March 26, 2012

A change of format after ODI battle

Match facts

March 27, Beausejour Cricket Ground
Start time 1400 (1800 GMT)

Big Picture

Two days on from the Australian victory that secured a drawn ODI series, the teams must adjust quickly with a Twenty20 series up for grabs. Little has changed in the Australia squad's personnel but the major difference is that George Bailey takes over the captaincy for the shortest format from Shane Watson, who was filling in for the injured Michael Clarke in the one-dayers. This will be Bailey's third match in charge and every game is vital, not only for itself but for Australia's plans ahead of the ICC World Twenty20, to be held in September. They have these two games and now, it appears, three Twenty20s against Pakistan in Sri Lanka in August to prepare.

West Indies are also in the preparation phase for the world tournament. They have not played a T20 international for five months and after these two games they are also likely to have three matches before the World T20 in Sri Lanka. West Indies have brought in some specialists for this version but having not played for some time, they must first evaluate their best side - seven of the men who played in their most recent T20 are not in this squad. But they have plenty of powerful hitters and will be a force to be reckoned with on the small Beausejour Cricket Ground.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
West Indies LWLLW
Australia LWLWL

In the spotlight

Darren Sammy showed in the fifth ODI the damage he can do at a ground with small boundaries like Beausejour. If he gets some time in the middle he could take the Australian attack apart again, but the likelihood is he could be batting as low as ninth in this West Indies line-up.

James Pattinson has been sitting in the rooms throughout the one-day series, wondering when his chance would come. It has arrived in the first Twenty20 and as much as his bowling will be an asset to Australia in this game, he will also be keen for as much game time as possible ahead of the Tests, given he is almost certain to be part of Australia's starting line-up.

Team news

West Indies have named a 14-man squad but having not played a Twenty20 international for so long, their starting line-up is far from certain.

West Indies (possible) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Carlton Baugh (wk), 8 Andre Russell, 9 Darren Sammy (capt), 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Fidel Edwards.

Australia have confirmed their starting line-up and there will be two changes from the side that played the final ODI. The fast bowler James Pattinson will play his first match of the tour and the allrounder Daniel Christian has also been included, while Peter Forrest and Ben Hilfenhaus have been left out.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Matthew Wade (wk), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 David Hussey, 6 George Bailey (capt), 7 Daniel Christian, 8 Brett Lee, 9 James Pattinson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Pitch and conditions

The St Lucia pitch provided 280-plus first-innings scores in both the ODIs and there is no reason runs shouldn't flow in the first Twenty20 as well.

Stats and trivia

  • David Hussey will become Australia's most-capped Twenty20 international player in this game, surpassing Michael Clarke's record of 34 matches
  • There is no clear advantage at the toss: in the 11 T20 internationals held in St Lucia the team batting first has won five and lost six
  • Should Australia lose both of these matches, they could finish the tour ranked as low as eighth on the ICC's T20 international rankings


"These matches will give us a gauge as to where we are. The belief is there. It was clear during the last two weeks. We are getting stronger."
Darren Sammy

"It's a nice change for us to have a T20 group that has been together for a little while. Normally with T20 you get thrown together for a week and that's it, so to spent the last ten days together, albeit playing one-day cricket, is hopefully going to hold us in pretty good stead."
George Bailey

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