Tuesday, February 9, Adelaide Oval
Start time 1355 (0325 GMT)
Start time 1355 (0325 GMT)
The Big Picture
The series opener wasn't the close contest that many people expected from a West Indies outfit that challenged Australia during the Tests. The absence of Dwayne Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and others was noticeable although there were some positive signs from the young allrounder Kieron Pollard. It's worth remembering that West Indies began their Test tour with a dismal performance at the Gabba, where they were beaten inside three days, before they lifted significantly for the rest of the series. For that to happen in the one-dayers, they need not only their captain Chris Gayle to lead from the front but also several of the newer players like Pollard, Kemar Roach and Lendl Simmons to play important roles.
For Australia, the 113-run victory in Melbourne has heightened their resolve to go through the summer undefeated, an aim that Shane Watson said was laid out by Ricky Ponting at the start of the season. They believe they have worked out Gayle's weakness - cramping him and giving him no width early in his innings - and they know he is the key to a successful West Indies. Like the visitors, Australia are without some of their best one-day players including Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken but the depth in their fast-bowling ranks has been very impressive. Ryan Harris has taken 16 wickets in four ODIs this season, Doug Bollinger has troubled Gayle and Clint McKay couldn't even squeeze into the XI in Melbourne having been Man of the Match in the previous game.
Watch out for...Kieron Pollard knows the Adelaide Oval well. It was his home ground during December and January when he played with South Australia in the Big Bash. Pollard was the tournament's leading run scorer and two of his best three scores came in Adelaide. He can also bowl a bit, as he showed at the MCG with 3 for 45, and his maturity impressed his captain Gayle. The more Pollard can resemble Bravo, the better the chance of a West Indies win.
Questions have been raised over Michael Clarke's value as a Twenty20 batsman but his importance to Australia's one-day international setup is not in doubt. He may not provide Shane Watson- or Cameron White-like thrills but his anchoring role in the middle order has been one of the reasons Australia have won 21 of their past 25 ODIs. The long straight boundaries at Adelaide Oval allow him to tick the score over relatively risk-free, as he did with 80 including only three boundaries against Pakistan on Australia Day. Of the current crop of Australians, none has scored more ODI runs in Adelaide than Clarke.
Team newsDeciding which bowler to leave out was more troubling for Australia's selectors than worrying about who to include at the MCG, such has been the success of the attack this summer. McKay was desperately unlucky not to play and might miss out again given the usual reluctance to change a winning line-up, especially one that won so easily.
Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Doug Bollinger.
Gayle was happy with his bowlers at the MCG but he was concerned by the batting. If West Indies wish to make any changes to the top order, Wavell Hinds and Brendan Nash are the two men who could come in. Nash's game isn't especially suited to limited-overs, so the most likely scenario would be including Hinds for his first international match since 2006, having been ineligible for the past couple of years due to signing as a Kolpak player in county cricket. Runako Morton could be vulnerable after he looked very rusty at the MCG, struggling to react quickly enough against bowling that was only mid-130kph and scratching his way to 3 from 15 balls.
West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Wavell Hinds, 3 Travis Dowlin, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Narsingh Deonarine, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Dwayne Smith, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Nikita Miller, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Kemar Roach.
Pitch and conditions
Australia had no trouble posting nearly 300 in Adelaide on Australia Day and there is no reason to expect a low-scoring encounter this time. The forecast for Tuesday is for a hot and humid day with temperatures reaching 36C.
Stats and trivia
- West Indies haven't beaten Australia in an Adelaide ODI since 1986-87. Australia have won the three games since then
- When Denesh Ramdin caught Michael Hussey at the MCG he became the third West Indies wicketkeeper to take 100 ODI dismissals. He got there in his 68th match, much quicker than Jeff Dujon (80 games) but slower than Ridley Jacobs (61)
- The Australians who triumphed at the MCG have played a combined tally of 1007 one-day internationals, nearly double the West Indies' mark of 511 games
Quotes"We'll take Adelaide as Adelaide and then we'll go from there but an unbeaten summer, that would be great."
"We did well with the ball [in Melbourne] but my worry is always with our batting."
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo