Only 20 years ago, Australia’s victory more than the West Indies in the Caribbean was seen as a moment of reckoning for cricket in this nation, as an old foe was lastly vanquished after an unforgettable tussle.
Because Mark Taylor lifted the Frank Worrell Trophy at Kingston in 1995, that old foe has gradually disintegrated from a genuine cricketing superpower into the rather cobbled collectively outfit the West Indies are today.
It is a excellent shame that the group that brought the game Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall and the man the trophy on supply this summer is named following, Sir Frank Worrell, now travels to this nation as far more of an obligation than a challenge.
Tiny is expected from the West Indies for the duration of this three-Test series in Australia, and current benefits supply no cause for optimism. In recent occasions, many of these players have spent a lot more time and work playing in the world’s domestic T20 tournaments than in the white garments for their country.
Australia swept July’s two-Test series in the Caribbean with relative ease, providing us a short glimpse of the group that will play marquee fixtures on Boxing Day and at the SCG. But what else do we know about this fairly unknown West Indies team?
The West Indies have brought the same squad to Australia as the one that was properly beaten in Sri Lanka in October, with the same batting line up expected.
Obtaining not scored far more than 300 in an innings in both series against Sri Lanka and Australia – and certainly, not considering that April against England – there’s a distinct lack of runs coming from a team in which only a single batsman averages over 40.
That man, Darren Bravo, will bat at 3 behind Kraigg Braithwaite and either Shai Hope or Rajendra Chadinkra in a leading 3 that hasn’t created a century because April 24.
Marlon Samuels is a uncommon familiar face for Australian fans as a single of only two players in the West Indies squad to have played much more than 50 Tests, and, to his credit and the West Indies’ wonderful relief, has sacrificed substantial funds with the Large Bash League to commit to the Test series.
His type, even though, has been indifferent. Two Test centuries in the last 3 years tends to make for devastatingly poor reading for a player the West Indies will be relying upon for leadership all through the tour.
Jermaine Blackwood is an aggressive alternative in the middle order, and his typical of just shy of 40 from his very first 12 Tests indicates there is potential to be discovered in the 24-year-old.
Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin will probably bat at six with an typical of a little more than 25, leaving all-rounder Jason Holder to slot in at seven.
Even all through current meagre tours of Australia, the West Indies have featured a Lara, or a Chris Gayle, or a Shivnarine Chanderpaul – someone boasting the capacity to make Australian bowlers pay ought to they become complacent.
This time around, that threat truly isn’t present.
When you consider of West Indian cricket, more often than not your mind will wander to memories of the great quickly bowlers. The likes of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts and Curtley Ambrose tearing down on rapidly Australian pitches, skittling leading orders and intimidating tail enders.
Whilst, naturally, the current crop of Caribbean quicks aren’t a patch on their idols of yesteryear, it remains a strength in their team. Kemar Roach is the talisman, and he is no stranger to cricket in Australia.
|Carlos Braithwaite (yet to debut)|
Even though Roach’s dimensions are closer to Marshall than Ambrose, his pace remains a danger regardless. But injury has sapped the life out of a bowler that has done some serious damage to Australia home and away in the past, and the query remains if he can recapture one thing close to his best type once more.
Make no mistake, the West Indies need to have him to. Jerome Taylor is the attack’s greatest bowler, as Australia found out in Trinidad this year when he blasted via with a haul of six for 47, and his pace, flailing action and capability to swing the ball each ways make him a difficult buyer.
From there, the other options are much less well-recognized. Shannon Gabriel bowls with genuine pace, but has by no means taken more than 3 wickets in a Test innings. Holder has verified handy, but hardly prolific, in his 10 Tests as a result far. Carlos Brathwaite is however to debut.
So in several ways, we are left in the dark as to what to count on from the West Indian quicks. If Roach and Taylor can hit type and combine properly as a partnership, the Australian best order will be tested. If not, an awful lot is becoming left upon the shoulders of players largely unproven at the level.
Devendra Bishoo is most likely to be the spinner, with his leg-breaks proving dangerous at Wisdon Park against Australia in July. His adeptness with the bat will also play a element in him acquiring the nod over the squad’s other spinner Jomel Warrican, who bowls left-arm finger spin.
So what can we hope for from the West Indies in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney? Not as well several punters will have had the guts to purchase day-five tickets for any of the 3 matches, but at the very least we can hope for a contest.
The West Indies’ prime order has looked frail of late, but will be relieved to see an Australian bowling attack without Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc.
If this new-appear Australian bowling group suffers any teething troubles, there are some talented batsmen that could defy current kind to make them pay. But if the likes of Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson make one thing near their greatest, that run of sub-300 scores will probably continue.
It is the with the ball in hand that the Windies will feel some optimism although. From the best seven they faced in July, Australia is now without having Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, and even though none of them genuinely fired in that series, they have been experienced and effective campaigners.
The West Indies are properly aware of where they sit in world cricket appropriate now, and the challenges they face in recreating the sort of cricket that when had fans salivating more than their arrival in this country.
There was an irresistible flair to the cricket of the excellent West Indies teams, the sort of sense of exciting and entertainment that would lure fans by means of the gates by their tens of thousands. Recapturing that is a tall order, but must be the objective.
For these West Indies, to take some actions in that path and maybe result in a handful of headaches for an equally transitional Australia would be deemed a good results.
Topics: cricket, sport, jamaica