West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain

Buoyant Australia seek series win

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

April 14, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

April 15-19, Queen's Park Oval
Start time 1000 (1400 GMT)

Shivnarine Chanderpaul pushes the ball to leg, West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Barbados, 2nd day, April 8, 2012
If Shivnarine Chanderpaul finds a partner who is willing and able to stay at the crease with him, Australia could face another lengthy stay in the field © AFP

Big Picture

The teams have moved on to Trinidad and the big question for Darren Sammy's West Indies side is how they can recover from the disappointment of losing a Test that was there for them to win. For the first three days at Kensington Oval, West Indies were on top. When they dismissed Michael Hussey early on the fourth morning and held a 200-run lead with only four more Australia wickets to take in the first innings, West Indies were in a position from which they simply should not have lost the match. But Australia's fighting qualities, Michael Clarke's aggressive declaration and the home side's fragility combined to create a memorable finale to the Test, as Australia bowled West Indies out cheaply a second time and then chased down 192 with the light fading late on the fifth afternoon.

Sammy and the coach Ottis Gibson must find a way to instil belief in West Indies players whose confidence was shot by those last two days in Barbados. The spin-friendly conditions in Trinidad might help them, for Devendra Bishoo bowled well in the first Test without reaping significant rewards. It could boost Nathan Lyon too, who did not have his finest Test and needs to regain his self-confidence. Most importantly, West Indies have to find a way to play out five days of a Test at high quality. In 2008, they matched Australia for a few days of each Test but were always let down by a trough at some point in the game. It happened again in Barbados last week.

Australia can take a lot from the way they fought back from a losing position. Theirs is a side with a mixture of experience and youth, and they have now won five Tests in a row, not losing since New Zealand surprised them in Hobart in early December. Clarke's captaincy credentials were already high and have been boosted further by his declaration when still behind in Bridgetown, in an effort to force a result. His confidence appears to be rubbing off on his men. If they win in Trinidad they will retain the Frank Worrell Trophy and will win the series, so West Indies cannot afford to be slow out of the blocks in this match.

Form guide

West Indies LDLLW (Most recent first)
Australia WWWWW

In the spotlight

How do you solve a problem like Shivnarine Chanderpaul? Eventually Australia managed to do so in the second innings in Bridgetown, when he was squared up by Ryan Harris, but he had already made an unbeaten first-innings century. It was the fifth hundred Chanderpaul had made in the seven home Tests he has played against Australia. His last nine home innings against them read 104, 118, 11, 107 not out, 77 not out, 79 not out, 50, 103 not out, 12. If Chanderpaul finds a partner who is willing and able to stick with him, Australia could face a long, long time in the field.

Ricky Ponting is the only member of this Australia squad who has played a Test in Trinidad, and it was one of his very best. Back in 2003, Ponting scored 206 and 45 at Queen's Park Oval, and it was his first Test double-century. Last week in Barbados he was the unfortunate victim of a Shane Watson-scripted run-out and in the second innings was bowled when a ball stayed very low. However, he is coming off one of his finest Test series, against India, and will be keen for a long stay in the middle.

Team news

West Indies have included the offspinner Shane Shillingford in a 14-man squad and given the nature of the pitch they will consider a two-man spin attack in Shillingford and Devendra Bishoo, with Narsingh Deonarine as a backup. Should they include Shillingford, Fidel Edwards might be the man to miss out, for Kemar Roach was more of a threat in Barbados.

West Indies (possible) 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Kraigg Brathwaite, 3 Kirk Edwards, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Carlton Baugh (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Shane Shillingford, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Devendra Bishoo.

Australia will consider two spinners as well, but including Michael Beer at the expense of one of three in-form fast bowlers would be a big call. Were they to make that decision, Ben Hilfenhaus might be the unlucky one to miss out, given that the pitch will also help fast men who attack the stumps, but the more likely scenario is that no change will be made from the side that won at Kensington Oval.

Australia (possible) 1 Ed Cowan, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Ricky Ponting, 5 Michael Clarke (capt), 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Peter Siddle, 9 Ryan Harris, 10 Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Nathan Lyon.

Pitch and conditions

The Trinidad pitch was very dry on the day before the Test and is expected to provide significant assistance to the spinners, so much so that it even drew comparisons to Kanpur from Australia coach Mickey Arthur. Rain is expected to affect every day of the Test.

Stats and trivia

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul needs 176 runs to become the second West Indies player to reach 10,000 in Tests. Given that he averages 81.40 per innings in home Tests against Australia, it is not out of the question he could reach the milestone in this match
  • Of the five home venues at which West Indies have played the most Tests, their record is the worst at Queen's Park Oval, where they have won only 18 of 57 Tests


"We spoke about it, we just need to be mentally prepared to bat in two innings of a Test match."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy

"I think in [sharply spinning] conditions you just have to have a plan and stick with it through thick and thin, and that's probably been my attitude towards spin bowling my whole career. I do get out to spin bowling but I do find I have a plan against spin bowling and I'm going to back that."
Australia captain Michael Clarke

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

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Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

First match was the most important opportunity for WI to have something positive out of tests . In tests you don get in such a commanding situations frequently specially against aussies . Now if WI can draw next two that will be achievement .Sunil narine should have been playing for WI in tests along with bishoo .Only then they had some chance but batting is very fragile .

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

This could be a big mistake to leave out Bishoo. Now it is too late. WI will have to pay for this bad play.

Sammy, Otis I hope you made good calculated guess or perhaps you guys are very good gamblers.

Shane could have been tried in the final test win or lose.

Posted by Marcio on (April 15, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

Can't see AUS playin two spinners. Lyon hasn't been at his best, but he has been very economical, and no worse that opposition spinners. Let's see how he goes on this spin-friendly surface. best of luck to both teams! I have a feeling WI may struggle to come back from the disappointment of the last test. It must have been a real bummer for WI fans!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

Simply put, WI need to play consistently thru out the sessions. As the captain said mental prep is what is required. I may add reading the game is also important. I predict a win for WI.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (April 15, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Good luck windies you earned the right to a creditable draw last game since you bossed it for 4 days. Hope Lyon learns how to turn the ball and that one or 2 Aussie batsmen can step up to a fairly decent level we'll get a good game then.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

@ Buggsy :Its not that WI forget that matches plays for 5 days. What used to happen was they ALWAYS got a bad decision at crucial times. Thats why we always welcome DRS system

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

Well against the run of Aus managed to scrape a win. This will not happen again. Aus bowling is too ordinary for that to happen. WI will win 2-1.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

Has anyone question the declaration in the first inniing? The think tank there be blundered - Gibson et al! You would think that the W.I team would have batted on and accumulated as many runs as possible and further strenghten their dominance and position. After all ,they are the underdogs; getting 500 runs would have given the W.I team the psychologgical advantage. With that miscalculated declaration, they have challenge the Australians who took advantage of it. Now the Australian's confidence are running high. The W.I team as the saying goes, ' once bitten,twice shy", will be at a quandery as to when to make a declaration, if one is imminent in this match. Its hard to see how this team can recover from this psychological let down in the first test, unless Ssammy goes - Sammy is a liability to the team. One specialist batsman now, would strenghten the team. Turn the captaincy ove to Rampaul.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (April 15, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

@AKS286, I don't quite know how to reply to the most ridiculous load of manure I have read in years.

Posted by suniljoseph on (April 15, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

why do i all he poeple just keep asking for temprament. when bravo got 195 in india. wasnt that temprament. he just needs one big innings to go to the top. i still think bravo is the stuff for the future great. i would put my money on the west indies in this match. they came back in the one dayers, they came back in the t20s and they are going to come back most impressively in the second test. go windies.

Posted by Ross_Co on (April 15, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Plenty of talent in the Windies. Once this is combined with experience they'll be right up there again, esp since England (well, what is passed off as England anyway), India & Sri Lanka are declining. Oz to win this series though but not without overcoming more of a fight than India put up. Top four teams soon to be SA, Oz, Pak, WI but not necessarily in that order.

Posted by smudgeon on (April 15, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@dunger bob - do you mean Sulieman Benn? i think he kind of fell out of favour after a few disciplinary issues including a run-in with Gayle on the field. i think he was a useful spinner (i think he was around 6"7), but i rate bishoo much higher.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

@dunger.bob - are you talking about Sulemein Benn? To look at him you'd think he'd be a bowler. == == == Beer has improved over the last Ozzy summer, but IMO, he is still not within cooee, of Lyon. Lyon is a lot better than what he is given credit for by a lot of posters on this site.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

So let me get this straight... Pattinson's career is over?

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Historically, Trinidad pitch gives spinners the edge. To bring in Shane Shillingford now is asking for trouble. To play one fast bowler is even worst.

One out of the number 1, 2, and 3 batsman has to rest. Their performance is not there.

If Ravi Rampaul comes in then Edwards might be resting too. This is a decision WI will have to make. (Did Rampaul played enough to be considered since his sickness ?)

Sammy's bowling is an effective back up and he has been swinging his arms recently. (Ravi Rampaul could give you some runs as well). Deonarine should be one of the two spinners. You saw his performance both in regional and in test. You just cannot play one fast bowler. WI should look for a better W/Keeper batsman.

The Second test Team: Sammy, Baugh, Chanderpaul, Bravo, Roach, Rampaul/Edwards, Bishoo is a must play (Trinidad wicket) , Deonarine, Bharath, KA Edwards, Brathwaitte. If Shane Shillingford is to be considered, then either Bharath, KA Edwards or Brathwaitte should rest.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

Don't see much point of playing another spinner. If Lyons isn't going to get wickets I doubt Beer is going to do much better. At this stage he is not as likely to pick up wickets as Hilfs- or the other pacemen. Clarke is a pretty accomplished spinner anyway.

Posted by dunger.bob on (April 15, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@ Land47 : Thank you for the kind words about Aussie cricket. ... it's not something that most English posters are into these days (big assumption you're a Pom). ..... @ .. anyone who can tell me .... what happened to the big spinner who toured Australia in 2009 or so. .. can't remember his name but it sounded Islamic if that helps. .. anyway, he seemed an aggressive and very good spinner.. he was also the biggest spinner I've ever seen. I always thought he could use a walk up 135kph bouncer as a surprise ball.. 5 overs of pretty decent off spin then smack em on the helmet with the first ball of the 6th. .. I like it.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

After all,s said & done , I do believe Windies should maintain 2 fast men, along with Deonarine, Shillingford & Sammy, to go in with less of a bowling team is dangerous & asking for trouble. The batting needs to be consistent, they need to come good,bowlers must have a target of 350 plus to defend in both innings. I see Rampaul in for F. Edwards; Fans need to stop writing off Fidel, he has a long way to go, he will be around.Look for Windies to bounce back, be tough and resilient.Go WINDIES--Good cricket.

Posted by Buggsy on (April 15, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

RandyOz is probably right, Windies are an excellent team for the first few days, but somewhere along the line in the last 20 years they seem to have forgotten that Tests go for five days. 3-zip to Aust, although the wins won't be comprehensive.

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 15, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

lyon didnt have his finest test? he bowled brilliantly but wasnt needed to get the wickets much like in the last 5 or 6 tests for australia due to the dominance of the fast bowlers. i think beer will play and maybe hilf gets rested then in the last test harris and siddle get rested and starc and pattinson play, thats how i would do it anyway, rotation is necessary now

Posted by cheguramana on (April 15, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Looking at the way the first test has gone, I wud put my money on Aus winning the second test. for the Windies, its not a question of talent, its just the test match temperament that needs beefing up. and that i guess wl take a little more time. Shud be a good match tho, all the best to both teams !!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

If the west Indies can compete in all of the session in the test then they should do well in this test. They out played the Aussie for the first three days of the first Test at Kensington Oval only to loose it after tea on the fourth day

Posted by AKS286 on (April 15, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

harris is the worst bowler in the world. check out his last 6 test matches. only 5 wickets in the WI test. WI is considered as a worst test team, even below to bangladesh & ZIm. NO one will justify about lyon's place in the team. lyon played test matches in the heaven for spinners i.e SL but he failed as usual. beer will have the quality to be a world class bowler. beer must get chance equal to lyon. include johnson/coulter nile in the place of harris.

Posted by smudgeon on (April 15, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

regardless of the conditions, i'd be reluctant to tamper with the side. the quicks are really bowling well as a pack, as a good pace attack should. Lyon is looking a bit shaky at the moment, but i'm not sure pairing him with Beer is a solution. as much as i like Lyon, he simply needs to start taking wickets (and not just tailenders) or lose his spot, but i don't think he's out of chances just yet. still, he should be rightly feeling some heat from the Beer, Pattinson, Starc, et al. i wouldn't mind seeing Forrest in there somewhere before the series is done, but it'd need a bit of a rethink of the batting order.

Posted by Sinhaya on (April 15, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

@RandyOZ, dream on! Windies fought very well last time they toured Australia in 2009 where they lost the first test in 3 days but fought well to draw the 2nd and just lose the 3rd test by 35 runs. This Windies side is much better than the team in 2009 so they will fight hard. I know you tipped Aussies to win the ODIs 5-0 but it was all wrong! Windies fought well after losing the first ODI and first T20 of this tour, so nothing can stop the Windies from fighting hard in this test and possibly winning.

Posted by nafzak on (April 15, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

If I am not mistaken, N. Deonarine took 7 wickets in an innings at a match at the QPO recently, but fast bowlers have also done pretty well at QPO in the past. Attacking the bat & stumps is the key. QPO is not Kanpur. This pitch will play differently. I will say it again...Bishoo is being overworked. He has bowled more overs than WI in every test series he has played in. 45 overs in the 1st innings of the last match was just too match. He will not only lose his effectiveness if Sammy (who underbowls himself) and Gibson continues to play him that way, but he will suffer burnout. The signs are already there. I hope that I am wrong.

Posted by Sinhaya on (April 15, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

Yes hope Windies play Shillingford taking into account his recent form. I hope Sammy opens the bowling with Roach and if Windies win the toss, bat first and target a 300 plus score.

Posted by australianfan on (April 15, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

Come on guys looking foward for a wonderful test at trinidad...

Posted by landl47 on (April 15, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

Unless Shillingford is a better spinner than Bishoo (in which case why hasn't he played up to now?) I'd give Australia the edge if the wicket turns. Bishoo at the moment doesn't bowl enough balls that make the batsman play a defensive shot. Either they leave bad balls alone or they take runs off them and he bowls far too many bad balls. Lyon isn't a great spinner but he does make the batsmen play and, as he showed in Sri Lanka, on a turning wicket he can do some damage. WI got themselves into a great position in the first test but, as I've found out over 50+ years of watching cricket, you can NEVER count the Aussies out. They fight with everything they've got down to the last ball. I think the WI might have seen their best chance to win go begging.

Posted by RandyOZ on (April 15, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

Windies, after a brief blip, will proceed to be whitewashed.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

west indies!!! yu go gentlemen. Go out there and do us proud...:)

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

Spin or no spin,Aussies can see this through and i guess no changes as well,as Clarke can put himself to bowl...Guessing Aus can take it 3-0..

Posted by farkin on (April 15, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

ponting ran him self out if he did not turn back he would of still been in it was not watsons fault, because it was watsons call and he was running to the danger end

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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.
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