It was here in Nottingham last year that Australia suffered their heaviest defeat in a one-day international when England bulldozed them by 242 runs. More than a year removed from that forgettable hammering, Australia return to the Trent Bridge cricket ground in their second World Cup 2019 game, having beaten Afghanistan by seven wickets. In front of them, lay a buoyant West Indies unit, who haven’t had a bad opener themselves.

The last time the two teams met in an ODI encounter was back in September 2016, during a tri-series in the Caribbean, and although the Australians emerged victorious, a lot has happened between then and now. Both teams endured a horror run in 2018 but seem to have received a fresh lease of life this year. Australia sent a timely reminder as to why they shouldn’t be counted out, while West Indies provided ample evidence why they are more than the tag of “dark horse” in the World Cup.

West Indies were left fretting over the fitness of Andre Russell and Chris Gayle after their opener against Pakistan. Russell left the field after bowling three overs due to a bit of a trouble in his left leg, while Gayle was seen favouring his lower back during the course of his innings. The good news though for WI is that both have been declared fit and remain for selection.

Unsurprisingly, bouncers and short-pitched bowling have been the order of the day when it comes to net sessions leading into Thursday’s contest. Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell underwent a light Australian practice session where they were dealt plenty of bouncers from the local bowlers and coach Justin Langer. There were no signs of David Warner though even as almost all the recognised batsmen had a go in the nets.

For Australia and West Indies, the two most dominating teams of two different generations, this is the most even they’ve been in recent memory. Aaron Finch and Jason Holder, the two captain, acknowledged the firepower in their opponents and expected the contest to be an exciting one. Neither captain hinted much of a change in their line-ups.