West Indies v Australia, Twenty20 international, Barbados June 19, 2008

New blood handed chance to shine

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Match facts


Luke Ronchi gets into the groove ahead of his first match for Australia © Getty Images
 
Friday, June 20
Start time 14:00 (local), 18:00 (GMT)

The Big Picture

After a hard-fought Test series in which all three matches went to five days, a Twenty20 international will probably be a welcome release for some of the players. Failing to win the World Twenty20 last year frustrated Australia and they are keen to improve in this format, but ultimately there is little riding on the outcome of this match except perhaps the chance to take a slight edge into the ensuing one-day international series. Both teams will also test some fresh faces ahead of the ODIs, and the West Indies players will aim to show their credentials and build a case for selection in the Stanford $20 million match.

Twenty20 form guide

West Indies - LWLLL

Australia - WWLLW

Team news

West Indies will have a new-look top order compared to their last few Twenty20 internationals with Chris Gayle resting his troublesome groin, Marlon Samuels banned and Devon Smith axed. Xavier Marshall, who impressed in the Test series, is likely to open but his partner could be the uncapped William Perkins, Andre Fletcher or even the wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. Kemar Roach, the fast bowler with four first-class games to his name, has also been included in the squad and might play at his home venue if West Indies want to rest one of their strike bowlers.

West Indies (possible) 1 Xavier Marshall, 2 William Perkins, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan (capt), 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Sulieman Benn, 11 Fidel Edwards.

Australia will rest some players after a tough Test series and Andrew Symonds, who has been battling back spasms, and Brad Haddin, who has a broken finger, are at the top of the list. The squad has been bolstered by the arrival of several players fresh from successful Indian Premier League (IPL) stints, including the Player of the Series, Shane Watson, and the tournament's leading run scorer, Shaun Marsh, who will make his Twenty20 international debut. Luke Ronchi will also be playing his first game for Australia.

Australia (probable) 1 Shaun Marsh, 2 Michael Clarke, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Shane Watson, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 David Hussey, 7 Cameron White, 8 James Hopes, 9 Luke Ronchi (wk), 10 Brett Lee, 11 Mitchell Johnson.

Watch out for ...

Shaun Marsh The son of Australia's former opening batsman and coach Geoff Marsh, Shaun lit up the IPL with 616 runs at 68.44 in his 11-match stint with Kings XI Punjab and was comfortably the competition's leading run scorer. There is a permanent opening position on offer in the Australia limited-overs team following the retirement of Adam Gilchrist and Marsh has the ability to make the spot his own, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in his first tour with the national team.

Xavier Marshall Took the attack up to Australia in the Test series and his second-innings 85 in Barbados was especially promising. Without Gayle at the top of the order Marshall could be the man to get West Indies away to a flyer. His cover-driving was superb and he was always willing to go after the fast men, which could give Ponting some headaches if he starts to connect early.

Pitch & conditions

The Kensington Oval pitch provided sharp bounce and speed during last week's Test match and there could be more of the same for the Twenty20 outing.

Weather: There is rain expected in the morning in Bridgetown but by the time the match starts the conditions should have cleared up and a bright and sunny afternoon is on the cards.

Stats and trivia

Remarkably, given the popularity of the Stanford 20/20 tournament in the region, this will be the first Twenty20 international held in the Caribbean. It will also be the first Twenty20 international between Australia and West Indies.

West Indies have not made a strong start in this format and have won only two of the seven Twenty20 internationals they have played. At the World Twenty20 in South Africa last year, they lost both their matches and a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Bangladesh was particularly galling.

Quotes

"At this minute, the thing I'm most looking forward to is watching Shaun Marsh bat."
Australia's captain Ricky Ponting

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo