Second Test Preview: Australia vs West Indies

2 December 2009

Written by: Lawrie Zion

The Aussies are back. And back with a vengeance.

Their victory to the tune of an innings and 65 runs against a hapless West Indies side in the first test proved to the cricket world that they’ve put their heartbreaking Ashes loss to England behind them. The Aussies won with ease, dominating with bat, ball and in the field.  The West Indies, while good in patches, crumbled under immense pressure from the Australians.

Even though it was against a low class opposition, Australia looked determined to prove to their fans that they are still the best team in the world. And they have a chance to further enhance that reputation at the Adelaide Oval, when they take on the West Indies in the Second Test.


The maturity and discipline of the Australian side was clearly evident in the first test. When the West Indies were hitting the right line and length on the first day, Simon Katich’s patience and restraint was outstanding, leaving the ball outside the off stump and only playing at a ball when necessary. The only disappointment from a batting point of view was that no one was able to go on and make a century. Katich, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Marcus North all passed 50 but weren’t able to make it three figures. Watch out Windies, because in Adelaide, on a flat batting pitch, the Australian top order will be determined to go on and make big scores.

Unfortunately, the Aussies have been hit a major injury blow just before the second test with Ben Hilfenhaus, a bowler who genuinely swings the ball, forced to withdrawal from the match. Hilfenhaus troubled the top order with genuine swing early on and was named man-of-the-match for his five wicket haul. Rising star Doug Bollinger is a more than able replacement for Hilfenhaus and will bring pace and movement through the air.

Here is how the team is likely to shape up:

1.       Shane Watson

2.       Simon Kaitch

3.       Ricky Ponting (Captain)

4.       Michael Hussey

5.       Michael Clarke

6.       Marcus North

7.       Brad Haddin

8.       Mitchell Johnson

9.       Nathan Hauritz

10.   Peter Siddle

11.   Doug Bollinger

Likely 12th man- Clint McKay

West Indies:

While everyone else failed around him, young opening batsmen Adrian Barath played a brilliant innings in Brisbane. In a dynamic and exciting display, Barath scored 104 on debut, the first West Indian to achieve that feat on Australian soil. Other positive signs included the pace and accuracy of fast bowler Kemar Roach and the brilliant wicket-keeping by Denesh Ramdin, which included five catches.

Ramnaresh Sarwan has been making good progress over the last few days after being ruled out of the first test with a back injury. The team is confident he will be right for the match in Adelaide. But the team’s best bowler, Jerome Taylor, has been sent home due to another back injury. Taylor only bowled nine overs in Brisbane, and it was clear via his grimacing face that he was not fit to play.

The West Indies have a great opportunity in Adelaide to bounce back. They’ve had a good look at their opposition and they know what they are in for. And with a bit of luck, maybe they can create a decent contest.

Here is how the team is likely to shape up:

1.       Chris Gayle

2.       Adrian Bararth

3.       Ramnaresh Sarwan

4.       Shivnarine Chanderpaul

5.       Dwayne Bravo

6.       Brendan Nash

7.       Denesh Ramdin

8.       Sulieman Benn

9.       Kemar Roach

10.   Ravi Rampaul

11.   Gavin Tonge

Likely 12th man- Travis Dowlin

Who will win and why:

Australia shouldn’t have any problems winning this game, however I get the feeling they are going to have to work a little harder than what they had to do in Brisbane.

The pitch in Adelaide is traditionally a flat one, meaning the batsmen will have little trouble playing the ball off the pitch. The obvious choice is to bat first and make full use of what will be a batsmen’s paradise. However, as footmarks are created and the pitch begins to break up slightly, both spinners, Haurtiz and Benn, will become important and could cause troubles on days four and five.

However, the Australian batsmen will be determined to make big scores. Their maturity and patience should get them over the line.

Ben Waterworth is a Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University. He also writes regularly for upstart about AFL.