Australia vs West Indies ICC World T20 Group 2 Preview: Defending champions aim to test Aussies with spin
Australia will be looking for a win against the West Indies in ICC World T20 2014 © Getty Images
By Devarchit Varma
Mar 27, 2014
Australia will be desperate for a win when they take on a rejuvenated West Indies side in the Group 2 match of the ongoing ICC World T20 2014 tournament, at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.
While the West Indies are coming off a comprehensive win by 73 runs against the hosts Bangladesh, the Australians would be looking for a fresh start after a 16-run loss to Pakistan in their first match of the T20 World Cup.
The West Indies would fancy their chances after seeing the Australians struggling against spin in their previous match, and the role of ace spinners Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree becomes extremely critical for the defending champions. Narine is the world’s No 1 ranked spinner in the format, followed by Badree. The West Indies would certainly like to see their bowlers coming to the party in this crunch clash and deliver the goods.
The defending champions West Indies will be high on confidence after their crushing win over the hosts Bangladesh, as they produced an all-round show to register a huge win. The victory was critical from the Caribbean side’s perspective as they had lost their opening contest in the tournament to India without much fight, which certainly raised questions about their preparation and form.
However, the West Indies managed to shrug off a scratchy start to bounce back in an impressive manner and put up a strong performance, which certainly would have warned their opposition teams in the same group.
The West Indies would be pleased to see their explosive batsman Chris Gayle among runs, as he scored 34 and 48 respectively in the games against India and Bangladesh. Dwayne Smith too roared back into form with a fine 72 against Bangladesh, as the West Indies top-order seems to be getting into the groove. The presence of big hitters such as Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels in the lower middle-order provides them a chance to put up a strong total in case the openers are able to make a good start.
In the clash against Bangladesh, along with Badree and Narine, Krishmar Santokie created a huge impact taking three wickets, and his ability to bowl with lot of variety will be a key for the West Indies on the slow tracks of Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Australia would aim to put the disappointment of their 16-run loss to Pakistan and put up a strong performance. They would be aware of the fact that the West indies would aim to target their batsmen with heavy dose of spin, and the Australians will have to find an answer to it.
The Australians went down fighting in the first match, and the form shown by the likes of Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell would have pleased the camp as they have quite a few big clashes lined up ahead. The Australians take on India on Sunday in what promises to be one of the most-awaited clash in the tournament, but before that, they have to get their act together and get back to winning ways.
Australia would not like to chase a huge total against a quality spin attack that the Caribbeans have in their ranks, which means the bowlers will have to ensure that the West Indies batsmen do not get away in the manner that they are known for.
None of the Australian batsmen managed to score in double figures against Pakistan, and a century stand between Maxwell and Finch was the only bright spot for them. The Australians would not like to see a repeat of this.
Australia: George Bailey (c), Daniel Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin (wk), Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Doug Bollinger, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.
Time: 09:30 GMT | 15:00 IST
ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings
ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)