The Test series between Australia and West Indies draws to a close with the day-night match in Adelaide which gets underway on Thursday and acts as the final warm up for the home side ahead of their anticipated series with South Africa over Christmas.
West Indies showed in the opening match that they can be competitive and aren’t here to be a warm up act for anyone. They will want a result which not only levels up this series but also gives them something to build from in 2023.
I don’t think you could suggest that it was a perfect performance from Australia in the opening match of the series but when you think it was the first international red ball summer they will be perfectly happy to get the win and have something to build on. They will also be pleased to come out on top when you consider that they were without their captain for the final innings of the match. There will be natural improvement to come from the home side which is good.
Australia go into this match also knowing that they have won each of the 10 pink ball Test matches that they have played so they will be extremely confident that they can claim a clean sweep in this series. They will have been delighted with how they batted in the opening game and while things were harder for them with the ball we do have to take that injury to Pat Cummins into account and West Indies deserve a bit of credit too.
The first task for West Indies in this series was to offer up a sign that they could be competitive in it. They did that in the opening game even though the score didn’t go the way that they would have wanted. They now need to build on the good things they showed in that first game and come good in the bits they weren’t so good at and try and pull off what would still be a huge upset were they to win here, albeit maybe not as much of one as it might have been prior to last week.
West Indies were competitive with the bat in Perth but they weren’t as potent with the ball. That was all a surprise because I think most people would have expected that to be the other way around. West Indies are going to need to bowl much better in this match because batting is likely to be harder should they have to do it under lights. This is the final match under the coaching of Phil Simmons which might act as some inspiration.
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Pat Cummins has already been ruled out of the match and so Steve Smith will skipper the side. Scott Boland is the man who will replace him in the side which means that there is no place in the team for the likes of Michael Naser.
West Indies have a couple of injury issues of their own. Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales are both struggling and will be given right up until the toss to prove their fitness. If one doesn’t make it Marquino Mindley could make his debut.
Alzarri Joseph surprisingly went wicket-less in Perth but I don’t expect that particular piece of lightning to strike twice because he is likely to get a lot more assistance from the conditions in this match. We’ve seen the ball swing under the lights when day-night matches have been held here and there is said to be a bit of grass on the pitch to assist seam movement as well and at his pace he doesn’t need to do a huge amount with the ball to be in business.
Joseph has a performance line of 81.5 for this match which might normally look a little on the high side when a bowler doesn’t take a wicket in the previous game but he did score 47 runs in Perth so it might be that he only needs a couple of wickets in order to cover this line. He should be good for 22 runs over the course of this one so if he can bag three scalps then he should have every chance of covering this performance target.
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