David Warner's dismissal was perhaps not celebrated by all © Getty Images
David Warner’s dismissal was perhaps not celebrated by all © Getty Images

From a precarious position of 121 for 3 at lunch to reaching a commanding 438 for 3 at stumps, Australia recovered to post a score that is daunting enough for the hapless West Indies in the first day of Frank Worrell Trophy 2015-16. In two sessions, Australia scored 317 runs at the Bellerive Oval at Hobart, did not lose any wicket, did not allow West Indies to cause any damage, did not do anything untoward which may hamper their progress (unlike what they did in England),  and ended the day with the first Test in their firm control. Majority of hard work to win the Test was done in a single day’s play, and to be precise, in only two sessions. And it will not be an exaggeration to say that any West Indies fight back will be considered nothing less than a miracle.  LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs West Indies 2015-16, 1st Test at Hobart, Day 1

They said, all Australia need to do against West Indies was just to turn up, and victories will come their way. But Australia turned up in a manner so impactful that West Indies would need some serious introspection to realise where they stand, in whatever limited amount of time they would get after stumps on the first day till reaching back at the ground tomorrow morning. ALSO READ: Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh put Australia in command vs West Indies on Day 1, 1st Test at Hobart

Only if they are interested.

West Indies had very little to cheer about on the first day. Steven Smith was brave but not wrong when Australia opted to bat, and their score at lunch hinted that West Indies did really mean some of the words they had said before the Test series began. Australia had lost three wickets — their run-machines David Warner and Smith were already back in the hut with minimal damage — and West Indies had a realistic chance of putting the hosts under pressure. LIVE CRICKET BLOG & UPDATES: Australia vs West Indies 2015-16, 1st Test at Hobart, Day 1

But what transpired in the last two sessions was simply unbelievable. West Indies kept getting pummelled by the Australian duo of Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh. At times in the second session, Australia scored at a rate on which teams generally do not score in limited-overs cricket: seven runs an over. Generally, Australia scored at five an over in all three sessions on the first day.

While Australia did their job well, none of West Indies bowler stepped up when it was needed the most. Their bowling was replete with wayward short balls and countless over-pitched deliveries begging to be hit. Instead, all they could manage was falling short of the over-rate, and ended up bowling 89 overs in three sessions. This is not all; West Indies did not take the new ball after 80 overs, perhaps because the fast bowlers would have consumed even more time to get to the end of play on the first day, leading to a warning for Jason Holder.

 

West Indies did not have a lot to cheer about on the first day, still their surprisingly low enthusiasm was noticed during the telecast. While Jomel Warrican — who claimed two wickets — celebrated the fall of David Warner all alone, another West Indian player was in the background of the TV frame, not jubilant at all by the fall of the wicket, strolling idly towards the place where the team was about to form the huddle. So much for energy, enthusiasm and excitement on the first day of an all-important Test series in Australia.

Well, today was not the only day when West Indies looked hapless. This has become a trend of late as far as they are concerned. Their performances on the field are as grave as the matters off it. It is only them who can answer: how much is enough? And till the time West Indies do not answer, cricket fraternity will keep asking.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)