Australia have the first of two chances to win their ODI series with West Indies on Thursday evening when the two sides meet in the second game of the three in Barbados. The series is on the line as are another set of World Cup Super Series points.
West Indies were a bit of a mess in the first game and know they have to turn things around quickly if they are going to force a deciding match at the weekend. An Australia win here will give them the series with a game to spare.
After a pretty decent bowling effort did so well to restrict Australia to what looked like a light total, West Indies just imploded with the bat and they were done for in the match largely before they got going in many ways. They lost a clump of wickets in the powerplay and it doesn’t matter how deep you bat when that is the case. They batted well for 15 or so overs after that but the damage was done and there was no coming back from there.
Clearly West Indies need to bat better here. If they had fallen in a heap because the pitch changed or was tricky or something then you could excuse them but that wasn’t the case. There were some poor technical dismissals and some complete brain fades as well. There doesn’t appear to be that glue in the team when Shai Hope isn’t there and that is something they could do with rectifying moving forward. If they do bat well though they have shown that they can restrict this Australia outfit.
You couldn’t call the opening match the best performance from Australia because they didn’t really set a total that was beyond the West Indies. As it turned out it was but a shade over five an over doesn’t cut it very often in ODI cricket these days. In saying all that, their bowlers is very much their strength so there is no shame in riding that part of their team. Those bowlers should exactly why they are so highly rated with a devastating performance.
I did think that the Australia batting had a bit more of a balance to it than it did in the T20s but the same issue they had there came and reared its face again in the first ODI, notably their inability to play spin, Hayden Walsh Jr in particular. That has been an issue for them for a while so I don’t expect that to change here but if they can find a way of getting after him and putting him under pressure it would seriously help their cause.
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West Indies might be tempted to sweep the changes in their batting line up so they will be hoping that Shai Hope and Fabian Allen are available to come into the ranks for this match. If they are not the hosts could be unchanged.
Australia will be monitoring the fitness of Aaron Finch after he missed the first game through injury. He was only ruled out of the first game though so he could return here. Ben McDermott or Matthew Wade could be the one to step aside.
Mitchell Marsh has had a good tour so far and I see no reason why that won’t continue here. He has a performance line of 44.5 points which looks low based on what he has delivered so far. He showed in the first game that an average game with all three disciplines gets him past this line as he took a wicket, a catch and scored 20 runs for 50 points. In the T20s he fared even better with 50s in three of the matches and 30 in another as well as a three wicket haul and a couple of two wicket spells. I don’t expect him to come into the attack when West Indies are six down here and there is more to come from him with the bat too so I fancy him to cover this line.
There is still no sign of Australia being able to play Hayden Walsh Jr and as such the 3/1 on him to be the leading wicket taker for the home side continues to look big. If the barrage of wickets in the T20s wasn’t enough, he picked up five more in the first ODI and looks to have these Australian batsmen exactly where he wants them. Not only is he taking wickets but he is economical with it. This is his home ground in the CPL so he knows how the wickets play and that 3/1 is just too big still.
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