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West Indies v Australia tri-series, Basseterre -- Preview

Broken left index finger rules Warner out; host eyes improved batting display

West Indies v Australia tri-series, Basseterre -- Preview
 - Cricket News
The West Indian batsmen will have to show greater spirit if they are to counter the Australians.
Following its 36-run victory over South Africa in the fourth match of the triangular One-Day International series on Saturday, Australia will be confident of its chances of cementing its place atop the points table when it faces off against the West Indies in Basseterre on Monday (June 13).
 
Having suffered a 47-drubbing at the hands of South Africa in its second match, Australia has otherwise looked very good, and finds itself at top of the points table with nine points from three games. Its campaign commenced with a comfortable win against the host in Providence before defeat at the hands of South Africa at the same venue saw it make vast improvements to settle scores in the following fixture in Basseterre.


 
While its batting has shown improvement over the course of the three games, it is Australia's bowling department which has created most trouble for oppositions. Adam Zampa has proved his worth on spin-friendly pitches while Mitchell Starc, returning from a lengthy injury layoff, has excelled in both his appearances and Josh Hazlewood has bowled parsimoniously while also chipping in with wickets.
 
Warner had set up the win against South Africa with an excellent century, but scans after Saturday’s victory revealed a fracture which will rule him out of action for between two and six weeks. Warner has been the most prolific run-scorer in the tournament so far with 165 runs to his name, and his absence is a massive blow to a team which has been heavily reliant on him and therefore might be a little vulnerable.
 
The man best primed to exploit any weakness if Warner is ruled unavailable is Sunil Narine. The offspinner has bowled with great guile and skill to pick up eight wickets from two games on his international comeback. His 6 for 27 against South Africa was pivotal in setting up the win for the West Indies in the tournament-opener, and in the following game, he took 2 for 36 against Australia, although in a losing cause.
 


The West Indian batsmen will have to show greater spirit if they are to counter the Australians. In the previous game, it was rolled over for 116, leaving the bowlers with very little to defend. Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard will have to show the way in the middle.
 
Ramdin expressed the hope that the shift in venue from Providence to Basseterre will bring more runs for the batsmen. 
 
"We know it was slow and it’s a pitch that could frustrate batsmen, and it’s also bowling friendly,” Ramdin was quoted as saying by windiescricket.com of the Providence surface. “It is very important that we bat well here in St Kitts. We have the firepower in the batting department, we just need a good start at the top of the order. The guys have been working hard but they didn’t get the starts in Guyana.”
 
The task at hand for the West Indies batsmen appears rather daunting considering the form the Australian bowlers are in.
 
Teams (from):
 
Australia: Steven Smith (capt), David Warner, George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Scott Boland, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), Adam Zampa.
 
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor.

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