After a disaster masterclass at the T20 World Cup, Australia and the West Indies welcome a change of pace in the upcoming Test series Down Under. Australia host the Windies in a two-match series starting November 30 almost seven years since their last meeting. Here’s all you need to know…
This is the second leg of the Windies’ tour of Australia after the Aussies blanked them 2 – 0 in the 2 T20s prior to the World Cup in October. Both teams are on a good run of form in the longest format but neither have played since the middle of this year.
But, if the team announcements are anything to go by, we are in for a thriller.
Australia, in the midst of unwanted attention from a recent Justin Langer interview, is overall a rather settled group with no real surprises apart from Marcus Harris and Scott Boland. A batting and bowling cover respectively.
Australia are so settled in both departments that they announced their team weeks ago – Steve Smith, David Warner, Travis Head and Usman Khawaja are all among the runs while the pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Starc will shore up the bowling along with spinner Nathan Lyon.
The hosts have named a slimmed-down, 13-man squad representing a downsize in the number of players needed for a series since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The most exciting news though is that Tagenarine Chanderpaul, son of West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul, is in line for a Test debut in the first match at Perth tomorrow. The 26-year-old opening bat made 119 against a strong Prime Minister’s XI attack in Canberra to continue a prolific year. While his maiden first-class hundred came in 2018 against Barbados, and then another against Windward Islands in 2019, he, in 2022, is averaging 89.50 including four centuries.
However, apart from Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, the Windies batting is rather inexperienced. Brathwaite is one of four players that remain from the Australian tour of 2015-16 and, along with the other three – Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, will play a major role in the days to come.
The ones to watch are Blackwood and Joshua Da Silva who have scored centuries against England recently and Kyle Myers with a century against Bangladesh while Alzarri Joseph and Jayden Seales are explosive and will add firepower to the experienced spearheads of Holder and Roach.
The Windies’ pace attack could cause problems if there is any kind of assistance in the wickets this series.
West Indies: 32
West Indies last beat Australia in a Test in Antigua in May 2003. Their last Test in January 2016 at Sydney ended in a draw, but Australia had beaten them in five straight games before that.
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood (vc), Shamarh Brooks, Nkrumah Bonner, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Devon Thomas (wk), Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Alzarri Joseph, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales
1st Test – November 30 to December 4, Perth Stadium, Perth
2nd Test – December 8 to December 12, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Closer to the games, we will be announcing our Fantasy Picks. Stay tuned!