West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau April 22, 2012

Australia seek winning finish to Test season


Match facts

April 23-27, Windsor Park
Start time 1000 (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

Australia have retained the Frank Worrell Trophy but a drizzly draw is far from enough to satisfy Michael Clarke. He wants his first West Indies tour as captain to end in victory, and the Australians have that chance over the next five days in Dominica. The second-least populous nation that makes up the West Indies cricket team (after St Kitts and Nevis), Dominica is an unfamiliar venue for the Australia players, none of whom have played at Windsor Park before.

Not that it's that familiar to some of the West Indians either: the veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul has played only one first-class game there. West Indies do have a Dominican player in their side, the spinner Shane Shillingford, and he should play a key role having been preferred to Devendra Bishoo, who has been released from the squad.

West Indies might have lost the chance to regain the trophy but they can take encouragement from the Test in Trinidad, where they looked like making a real go of their chase of 215 on the final day until the weather intervened. They also dominated the first three days of the series in Barbados, so while Australia will enter the match as favourites, a 1-1 series draw is far from out of the question.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
West Indies DLDLL
Australia DWWWW

In the spotlight

Darren Sammy has made contributions throughout the Test series - in fact, throughout Australia's entire tour - but this would be the perfect time for him to play a match-winning role. In Barbados, he removed Australia's openers and made a handy 41 himself in the first innings and in Trinidad he showed a willingness to promote himself up the order when the situation demanded it. If he can combine a fast-paced innings of substance with a few wickets, he will be one step closer to ending his first Frank Worrell Trophy series as captain on a high.

Australia's Test-only players have a six-month break after this match and as one of the few in that category, Ed Cowan would feel much better over the winter if he was coming off a big Test innings. Cowan has now walked out to bat ten times for Australia and has two half-centuries to show for it, but no hundreds. His contributions in this series - 14, 34, 28 and 20 - have not been failures but nor have they cemented his place in the side. The same could be said of his partner David Warner on this trip, but Warner already has two Test centuries to his name. At some stage, Cowan will need to take that next step as well.

Team news

Fidel Edwards finished the Trinidad Test with what the captain Sammy described as "a slight niggle" and he could be replaced by Ravi Rampaul. Bishoo has been released from the squad, so there is no chance of West Indies picking two spinners. The Guyana batsman Assad Fudadin has joined the squad but is unlikely to find a place in the starting line-up.

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

Injuries have forced Peter Siddle and James Pattinson to head home, which will mean a return for Ryan Harris after he was rested following his Man-of-the-Match performance in the first Test in Barbados. Michael Beer bowled well in Trinidad but is expected only to hold his position if the Windsor Park pitch looks especially spin-friendly. It appears more likely that the left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc will come in for his fourth Test.

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 Ryan Harris, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Nathan Lyon.

Pitch and conditions

Windsor Park is still in its international infancy. In its first Test, between West Indies and India last year, only a third of the wickets fell to spin. In the two four-day matches played at the venue during the domestic competition that has just finished, no team managed 300 in an innings. The forecast suggests there could be showers throughout the Test.

Stats and trivia

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul needs 82 runs to reach 10,000 in Tests
  • Should West Indies win, it will be the first time since 1999 a Test series between the two sides has not been won by Australia
  • Kemar Roach's ten-wicket haul in Trinidad was the first time a West Indies bowler had achieved the feat in a Test since Corey Collymore claimed 11 against Pakistan in Jamaica in 2005


"I'm pretty sure all the boys will want to make this Test a good one for themselves personally and for the team because we've had a really good summer, we want to finish on a high before we get stuck into one-day cricket and the Twenty20 World Cup."
Michael Clarke

"When Australia came here everybody didn't give us a chance, but we've played a brand of cricket that we want to get used to. That said we've still got to get the victories and that's what we're looking for. To level a series against Australia would be another stepping stone for us."
Darren Sammy on the prospects of sharing the series.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on April 24, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    @Digimont - perhaps India need to poach some Bangladesh players?

  • Rhonda on April 24, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    If I hear one more post on how the Aussies were tired and the pitches were bad, I'm going to gag. They're not the first team in history to have a busy schedule and you're off till Winter after this. Plus, both teams played on the SAME pitches. We had to deal with it, and you had to deal with it. Nothing unfair there. Face it--you couldn't beat us so now you're making excuses. But that's okay. If you win this last Test, you can tell yourselves the rest was just all a bad dream. At least until the Ashes...

  • Rhonda on April 24, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    @ jonesy2 it must have rained all the way through that OD and T20 series you couldn't win either...

  • Rhonda on April 24, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    @ Marcio, get your facts straight. We do not 'doctor' wickets. The nature of the pitches here has been no secret for years now. Everyone including you just has to deal with it. It was no faster for the English when they lost on it for 51 against pace. It's ridiculous that every time someone has to face Windies, they grumble about the pitches. We would love to have green pitches everywhere--in case you didn't notice, we tend to play fast/med bowlers. Does your theory make sense given we never play more than one spinner at a time? The fact is, Aussie pitches can be found in Australia and South Africa. Seaming pitches are in England--and the wickets in Guyana, Trinidad and St. Vincent have taken spin since they were first played on. Windies may be a shadow of its former glory, but we are fair-minded and we don't cheat.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    On spin friendly pitches the Pakistani spinners will slaughter the Ausie batsmen. Among the current lot I cannot see anyone getting a half century against the former with the exception only of Clarke and perhaps also M. Hussey. How the Pakistani batsmen will fare against the Ausie bowlers (if they can scrape 4 of them together to play) is a much more unknown factor; a 50/50 affair perhaps. All this means, in my humble opinion, is that Pakistan will come out winners in a test series between these two countries, unless they play their matches on tracks much more suited to fast bowling.

  • Saeed on April 23, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    I agree with the Fudadin comments here, the guy definitely deserves a chance to play. Surely he cannot do much worse than Powell or Barath. At least Brathwaite scored a fifty. & WI cannot keep sending three inexperienced batsmen at the top of the order, they need Bravo to step up to #3. As for Fidel, I won't risk playing him with an injury. I would rather go with Rampaul. 1-Barath, 2-Brathwaite, 3-Bravo, 4-Fudadin, 5-Shiv, 6-Deonarine, 7-Sammy, 8-Baugh, 9-Rampaul, 10-Roach, 11-Shillingford.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Well whatever happens i'm just hoping for a reasonable pitch so we can see some attractive cricket. Along with some good weather so that we can get a result, there's not too much more that you could ask for to bring this excellent tour to an end. I think Australia's bowling will be much stronger here for the inclusion of Harris and possibly Starc too. The West Indian attack too may be enhanced by the inclusion of Rampaul, his ability to bottle things up will help keep the pressure on the Aussie batsmen who would much rather see the board ticking over at a healthy clip. Best of luck to both teams!

  • David on April 23, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    @maddy20 - given the result, I suggest that India sent its B Team to Australia this summer - some old has beens called Laxman and Sehwag, who would not have run any slower in the field if they had been tied together and batted like they WERE tied together. The shadow that used to belong to Tendulkar and a wall with more gaps in it than bricks. A captain who wouldn't board the ship, let alone go down with it. Bowlers who all looked like they were trying to hold up an end while somebody else that wasn't there took wickets at the other end. Oh, hang on, that was your A Team. West Indies and New Zealand have proven to be greater challenges simply because they are both better teams than India. India may have over a billion people, but it can't find 11 cricketers among them with pride for their country that outweighs their love of undeserved wads of cash.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    Australia should play more aggressive against ordinary West Indian. Kemar Roach, Darren Summy are not that difficult bowlers to fear. Shillingford also not a threatening bowler. Aussie Batsmen should bat more aggressively to win this match. I wish a hundred of Ricky Ponting.

  • Simon on April 23, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    The fact that this is a test between Australian and the Windies, yet we still end up talking about the strengths and weaknesses of Team India shows what a global game we have become! Turning back to the issue at hand, this has been an old fashioned test series. Both teams have fought hard, and though a few Windies fans continue to attack Sammy and Gibson, for the first time in a long time an Aus vs. Windies test series has gone to the last test with the series still in the balance and some of the credit must go to the captain and coach. Hopefully, the exhaustion of the last two thrillers wont have sapped the two teams, and we can have a good match of it again. C'mon Aussies!

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