The Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia is set to host the first T20 International (T20I) of the five-match series between the West Indies and Australia on Friday (July 09).
This will be Australia’s first series since their New Zealand tour in March early this year. As the T20 World Cup isn’t far enough, the visitors will look to solve all their problems ahead of the mega event, especially in the absence of senior lads who are not playing this series.
On the other hand, the hosts would be aiming to bounce back after facing a 3-2 loss by South Africa as they also look to defend their T20 World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The track at Daren Sammy National Cricket Ground usually assists some bounce and swing. Therefore, the pacers will have some benefits in the initial phase of the game. The pitch shall also help spinners as the match progresses.
Head to Head record:
Matches played: 11 | West Indies Won: 6 | Australia Won: 5 | Tied: 0 | No result: 0
With the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, Windies is arguably the most dangerous T20 unit in the world. However, they need to show consistency to prove their worth. In the series against Proteas, only Evin Lewis was able to cross the 100-run benchmark for the home team in five matches.
All-rounder Jason Holder has been rested as part of workload management, so Bravo, who took 14 wickets in the fixtures against South Africa, will lead the bowling attack along with Obed McCoy, who picked up nine scalps in the recent series.
WI XI: Kieron Pollard (c), Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Akeal Hosain, Obed McCoy, Fidel Edwards.
Australia have entered the Caribbean islands with one hand tied behind their backs as some familiar names are missing in this series. The likes of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson and Daniel Sams have made themselves unavailable, while Steve Smith is injured.
T20 veteran Daniel Christian is set to return after coach Justin Langer gave hints regarding his comeback. Christian last played for Australia in 2017. Mitchell Starc will lead the bowling attack, with Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar both getting a chance in the final XI.
AUS XI: Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Moises Henriques, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Dan Christian, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.