Time: July 10, 5 AM IST
Venue: Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
After smacking 31-ball 47 at the same venue, Dan Christian said a score of 170 would be competitive. In addition, the pitch is expected to turn as the series progresses.
The weather is forecasted to be partly cloudy, but the rain is unlikely to make any appearance.
Jason Holder has been rested in order to manage his workload, which promotes Dwayne Bravo’s batting position from No. 9 to 8.
Probable XI for West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Akeal Hosain, Obed McCoy, Fidel Edwards
Justin Langer revealed that Mitchell Marsh will bat at No. 3 and Dan Christian will play the role of a finisher.
Probable XI for Australia: Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques, Ashton Turner/Ben McDermott, Dan Christian, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Players to watch out for
The reason West Indies lost the home series against South Africa is that they could not bat as a unit. Evin Lewis was the lone warrior, scoring 175 runs at 35.6 including 2 half-centuries in 5 games. The second-highest run-scorer was Lendl Simmons with 72 runs in 2 games fewer than the likes of Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell. However, Pollard’s 25-ball 51 won them the fourth game and it was proof that he gets going during run-chases. He needs to up his game while batting first as well.
Aaron Finch ranks No. 2 in ICC T20I Rankings for batters. On the New Zealand tour earlier this year, he finished as the highest run-scorer: his 197 runs came at a strike rate of 134 including 2 fifties. The only spot of bother is that Finch has not played any competitive cricket since March, but for all we know, he’ll fire on all cylinders. He knows only the attacking brand of cricket.
Mitchell Starc has not been pursuing enough of the shortest format, but he has good numbers in T20Is. In 35 games he has sniped up 47 wickets at an average of 19.3 and an impressive economy of 6.9. Besides, he is reputed as a wicket-taker. His dipping yorkers in the death overs will be challenging for the West Indians.
Dwayne Bravo took 10 wickets in 5 games against South Africa. His figures of 4 for 19 in the fourth T20I were his career-best. While Bravo did the damage towards the end of the innings, the foundation had already been laid by Obed McCoy in the powerplay. His 9 wickets came at a stunning average of 15.6.
West Indies’ batting in the middle-overs against South Africa was ordinary and that is when Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa will bowl the bulk of their overs: they rank Nos. 3 and 8 respectively in the ICC T20I Rankings for bowlers.
West Indies come from a series defeat against South Africa, and Australia haven’t played cricket for 4 months and will be without their key players such as David Warner, Steven Smith, and Glenn Maxwell. However, West Indies have found the chink in their armour and Australia are on the pursuit of finding their best squad for the T20 World Cup later this year. The home team, hence, has an upper hand.