|Scorecard:||Australia v West Indies|
|Event:||West Indies in Australia 2012/13|
DateLine: 5th February 2013
Australia v West Indies
3rd ODI 2013
Australia can extend its recent domination of the West Indies by wrapping up the five game One Day International series between the sides at the earliest opportunity in Canberra on Wednesday.
After taking the opening two matches in convincing fashion, a win in the nationís capital would not only be the hosts 16th from the past 19 completed 50 over matches between the sides but also the sixth straight series success for Australia against the Windies.
Shane Watson is set to return for his first International match since the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, with the 31 year-old taking the place of Usman Khawaja in the only expected change to the hostís squad. Despite making an inglorious comeback for New South Wales when making just six from 23 deliveries against Western Australia in the Ryobi Cup, selectors want to get him back into the National setup before the tour of India. He is likely to bat at number three with Phil Hughes partnering Aaron Finch at the top of the order, while left armer spinner Xavier Doherty could get a look in at Manuka Oval on a wicket that is expected to be more conducive to spin than the pacey WACA surface.
George Bailey in the last match, with help from a cool-headed lower-order, ballooned the Australian total to 266/7 after being 98/6. His 125 off of 110 balls was remarkable given the situation and since his debut in March 2012, Bailey has scored 720 ODI runs at an average of 45.00. Only Ian Bell has scored more in this period.
Starc is the the biggest danger for the visitors which comes as no surprise. The West Indian batsmen don't seem to have a clue of how to deal with his vicious, late swing. Whether he will find similar assistance at the Manuka Oval remains to be seen, but having seen him take bucket-loads of wickets on tracks that most would find unhelpful, things do not seem well for the Windies.
The West Indies are also likely to make changes to their lineup as they try and keep the series alive. Everyone knows what Chris Gayle can do at the top of the order but his place in the side must be under threat after averaging just 11.2 in his past ten ODI matches. As the only other specialist batsman in the squad, Johnson Charles would be the man to replace him at the top, although the more likely option is that he plays as wicketkeeper instead of Devon Thomas. If he has recovered sufficiently from the knee injury that ruled him out of the opening two matches, that would allow allrounder Andre Russell to return to the team after blasting 54 from just 24 deliveries in Canberra against the Prime Ministerís XI last week. Ramnaresh Sarwan also scored a half century in that match but has two ducks since and needs a big score to keep his place in the side.
The talent is there and itís probably, bar injury, the correct team on the field. But when the chips are down, so too go the heads and Darren Sammy just doesnít seem to have the ability to pick his side up in these moments. It all comes down to the rubber backbone, except when you bend it, it doesnít seem to want to snap back.
This match will be just the third ODI played at Manuka Oval and the first that Australia has been involved in at the ground. 643 runs were scored in the tour match here on January 29 and another high scoring match is likely.
Australia: Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Michael Clarke, George Bailey, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Ramnaresh Sarwan/Narsingh Deonarine, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Devon Thomas/Johnson Charles, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine, Jason Holder.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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