West Indies v Australia, 2nd ODI, Grenada June 26, 2008

Ailing West Indies face uphill battle

Match facts


Nathan Bracken's form in St Vincent was one of several positive signs for Australia © AFP
 
Friday, June 27
Start time 09:30 (local), 13:30 (GMT)

The Big Picture

Australia have the momentum after a convincing win in the first ODI in St Vincent on Tuesday and victory in the first of two games in Grenada would give them a formidable 2-0 lead in the five-match series. There were plenty of positives for the visitors in the opening encounter: Shaun Marsh was the Man of the Match with 81 on debut, Nathan Bracken picked up four wickets in his first major outing since knee surgery and Brett Lee was just as threatening as in the Tests. For West Indies virtually nothing went right. They were already missing Shivnarine Chanderpaul with a leg injury, then Xavier Marshall hurt his shoulder in the field, and none of the batsmen looked like making a successful chase. It will take a huge effort for them to turn the tide their way in Grenada.

ODI form guide

West Indies - LNWWL (most recent first)
Australia - WLLLW

Team news

As well as the injuries to Chanderpaul and Marshall, West Indies also had to deal with groin complaints for Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle, neither of whom were at 100% in St Vincent. The coach John Dyson says the group feels "more like a mobile hospital than a playing unit of late". They tested a few younger players in the first match and it's likely Andre Fletcher or Kieron Pollard will get another chance. Chanderpaul will return, making West Indies supporters happy after his exploits in the Tests, while Sarwan and Gayle are playing.

West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Xavier Marshall, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 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.

If Australia's idea for this series was to trial new players, part one of the plan worked brilliantly with Marsh's debut heroics. David Hussey might get an opportunity at some point in the series, although probably not in this game, while Andrew Symonds remains in doubt with a lingering back injury. The wicketkeeper Brad Haddin's right ring finger is also troubling him, so expect Luke Ronchi to receive a chance over the next three days. Mitchell Johnson showed signs of improvement in St Vincent and Australia will likely continue with him rather than including Stuart Clark, but they have delayed naming their side until shortly before the game.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Brad Haddin (wk), 7 Cameron White, 8 James Hopes, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Mitchell Johnson, 11 Nathan Bracken.

Watch out for ...

Darren Sammy Typically it's Dwayne Bravo that gets the all-round attention in this West Indies line-up but Sammy is starting to prove a very useful bits-and-pieces player. In St Vincent he was arguably West Indies' best bowler, collecting 2 for 31 and clearly thinking about his craft. His nagging line made him harder to get away than his quicker colleagues and he has a well-disguised slower ball, which got rid of Marsh on 81. Sammy also equal top scored in the chase with 33. All West Indies need from him now is to turn these useful contributions into occasional match-winning efforts.

Ricky Ponting Australia's captain is experiencing an unusual run of form where he either seems to make big hundreds or fall very early. Since the start of the Chappell-Hadlee Series in December his ODI scores have been 107, 134, 0, 9, 9, 25, 10, 11, 124, 1, 1, 1 and 5. That means it's about time for another century. It's also his 300th ODI and he has a history of brilliant performances in milestone matches. But Ponting will need to get over his struggles against Jerome Taylor, who has now dismissed him four times from his past five international innings.

Umpires Asad Rauf, Norman Malcolm.

Weather

Scattered showers are forecast for Friday, so it could be another stop-start day. There were plenty of such occasions during the Test series and then in the Twenty20 international.

Stats and trivia

Ponting will be the second Australian to reach 300 ODI appearances, with Steve Waugh heading the list on 325.

Australia played two Super Eights matches at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada during the 2007 World Cup, thrashing Sri Lanka by seven wickets and demolishing New Zealand by 215 runs. West Indies' only outing there during the tournament was a 67-run loss to South Africa.

Leaving aside a rain-reduced match in 2004 and Ireland's capitulation for 77 in the World Cup, the average first-innings score at the stadium is 255.

Quotes

"We have to regroup and rethink our approach. It is a series of five. It's not the end of the earth yet."
John Dyson, West Indies' coach

"The overall composition of the team is pretty good, and in Grenada, we can expect the same sub-continent type pitches, and I believe our overall make-up will work as well."
Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo