Promises to hit new heights
by Asher Wilson
DateLine: 22nd September 2012
Australia vs West Indies
T20 World Cup 2012
The T20 World Cup carnival in Sri Lanka promises to hit new heights as the last edition's losing finalists Australia brace-up to face their main threat West Indies in Game 8 of the tournament at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo today. This is the match which will decide who progresses to the Super Eights as the first placed team in the group.
Australia blitzed Ireland which will please the team since they were under a lot of pressure to beat Ireland after registering a comprehensive win in their World Twenty20 opener. Australia would be craving to beat the flamboyant West Indies and seal a Super Eight berth. However, it wont be an easy task for George Bailey`s boys as the contest is definitely going to be more intense. They are up against a side which boasts of big-hitting Chris Gayle and mystery spinner Sunil Narine in their ranks.
The Aussies made light work of the Irish largely due to a terrific all round effort from their marquee player Shane Watson. He bowled intelligently before playing a very good hand with the bat too to help chase down a modest total. Barring him and Dave Warner at the top, none of the Aussies managed a decent enough hit in their opening game hence it would be hard to predict any changes in the setup. David Hussey has gone out of favour for the young all round Glenn Maxwell and it seems like he will have to wait long for his turn. His older brother Mike Hussey though, despite a poor outing in the first game where he made just 10 runs will form the pillar of the middle order along with experienced former captain Cameron White. The rest of the batting looks a little shaky in the middle order with the inexperience of Maxwell and new skipper George Bailey in the international setup. Nevertheless, the Aussies have shown that they can be underestimated at one's own peril with their ability to turn it on at the big stage.
The Aussie bowling came up trumps on Wednesday, albeit against a weak Irish side, which should be encouraging for the management. Young bowlers Pat Cummins and Mitchel Starc were decent enough to warrant another opportunity but the wily and experienced Clint McKay lurking around, there could always be a change. Spinners Glenn Maxwell and Brad Hogg were excellent on Wednesday and will retain their spots while trump card all rounder Shane Watson is expected to do the fifth bowler duty effectively again with Dan Christian expected to aid him. All in all, they seem to have the variety to counter the conditions and it will all be down to execution. A complete all-round effort from the Aussies will leave them with very little to worry about, but they will know the importance of building and maintaining a winning momentum in such a big tournament.
West Indies boast of several match winners in their squad who on their day are capable of winning a game singlehandedly for the team in this format. Chris Gayle is the best of the lot and will be hoping to revive his start-stop international career with a charismatic performance in this tournament. Right handed Lendl Simmons is expected to compliment him at the top while the likes of Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard will provide the management with an explosive middle order. Skipper Darren Sammy, wicket keeper Dinesh Ramdin and all rounder Dwyane Bravo are expected to round off what will be a very formidable batting unit in this format.
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine picks himself as the lone spinner while Ravi Rampaul will be the mainstay in the fast bowling department. Rampaul could be supported by either of Fidel Edwards or Andre Russell for the final playing spot. Keeping in view the iffy form of Edwards of-late and given Russell's ability with the bat and brilliance in the field the acrobatic Jamaican might well get the nod. The likes of Dwayne Smith, Fidel Edwards and young batsman Johnson Charles might have to wait for their turn to get into this seemingly power packed Windies line up.
GJ Bailey*, SR Watson, DT Christian, PJ Cummins, XJ Doherty, BW Hilfenhaus, GB Hogg, DJ Hussey, MEK Hussey, CJ McKay, GJ Maxwell, MA Starc, MS Wade†, DA Warner, CL White
West Indies Team: DJG Sammy*, DJ Bravo, S Badree, DM Bravo, J Charles, FH Edwards, CH Gayle, SP Narine, KA Pollard, D Ramdin†, R Rampaul, AD Russell, MN Samuels, LMP Simmons, DR Smith
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Pakistan Cricket Website)