On the heels of a hard-fought Test series draw against England, the eighth ranked West Indies squad welcomes the second-ranked Australians with the winner of this series walking away with the coveted Frank Worrell Trophy. You can check out our latest West Indies v Australia betting tips below.
West Indies could well overwhelm their Aussie opponents who are on their final stop before the Ashes in England this summer.
Fresh team, aggressive team:
With the veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul the only casualty from the team that secured the draw with England, new coach, Phil Simmons has indicated that the door has been opened for veterans Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine to return to the Test team. However, not all will join the West Indies squad for now.
With some of these experienced veterans in their line-up and players such as Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor returning to form, the Windies team could be a difficult one to topple.
For the Aussies, Ryan Harris will miss the entire series due to the birth of his first child while Shane Watson’s availability is unclear as he awaits the birth of his second child.
While Watson will miss the only warm-up game ahead of the first Test, he hopes to arrive in Dominica in time to be considered for selection. What that will mean is he might be rusty for the opening Test, having not played in any red-ball cricket for long.
Although there is depth in the Australian squad, with the uncertainty of Watson and with no Test matches since January 2015 and most players only exposed to the shorter formats of the game in recent months, the lack of adequate Test preparation may well work in the West Indians’ favour.
West Indies are also just coming off a three-match Test series against England, which means they are well-rehearsed for this format of the game.
West Indian resurgence:
Centuries and half centuries from nine players during the England series and with 11 and 8 wickets being taken by Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder respectively, the resurgence of the West Indies squad was as evident in the standard of fielding as with the bat and ball. There were 19 catches, 11 between first slip and gully.
This was in addition to the 6 catches well taken by wicket-keeper Ramdin to accompany his 2 stumpings.
These were complemented by run-outs and a relative absence of dropped catches (only 2 for the entire series) – a far cry from the fielding woes of the West Indies in recent times.
Winning away, not too easy:
Adding to their new-found confidence, once again the Windies will be in their ‘back yard’. With Australia’s problems away from the comforts of their continent home, the series is by no means already won, especially given the tracks will be chalk and cheese as compared to those back home down under.
To win away from home is a challenge the Australians will face in the West Indies. As with the last Australia-West Indies Test in the Caribbean in 2012, the disparity in the rankings in immense, but with a resurgent West Indies squad at home, having the benefit of preparation from the recently-concluded Test and having the time to solidify and gel as a squad, the Aussies may well be in line for a sterner Test than expected.
Here’s are the latest West Indies v Australia Test odds (courtesy bet365):
Australia to win the series: 2/9
Drawn series: 9/2
West Indies to win the series: 12/1