The West Indies and Australia will resume T20I cricket on Friday at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, following an eventful Test series that concluded 1-1 and an ODI series that was comfortably won 3-0 by the hosts. The 2016 West Indies T20 World Cup was won by Australia, while the 2021 tournament was won by Australia. Continue reading for a preview of the opening match of the three-match series. The match commences on February 9 at 19:00 local time.
In their most recent T20I series, Australia was defeated 4-1 in India, but that was against an under-performing squad immediately following the 2023 Cricket World Cup. They have assembled an exceptionally formidable squad for this series, and we anticipate that they will begin victorious.
The West Indies’ recent ODI series was a dismal one, which culminated in their final match in Australia being vanquished in the shortest ODI ever played. However, since the previous T20 World Cup, they have been exceptionally formidable in T20I cricket, and we anticipate that they will remain competitive.
At the Bellerive Oval, the pitch presents a balanced challenge, particularly favoring the quicker bowlers at the start of the match. Early on, there’s swing to exploit, coupled with the potential for pace and bounce. Yet, as the game unfolds, batting becomes more manageable. The team batting first aims to notch up a score in the vicinity of 170-180 runs. Cloudy conditions persist, though rain isn’t anticipated according to the forecast.
Head to Head:
Except for the unexpected defeat in the 2nd Test match, Australia will be quite content with how the tour has unfolded so far. With some fresh faces in the mix, the hosts are eager to maintain their winning streak.
Mitchell Marsh will lead the team in place of rested Steve Smith for this series. David Warner makes a return to the squad and is likely to partner Travis Head at the top of the batting order. With the likes of Tim David, Glenn Maxwell, and Marcus Stoinis in the middle order, Australia boasts plenty of batting options.
Matthew Short, Josh Inglis, and Sean Abbott retain their spots, though the bowling unit appears slightly depleted with the absence of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, alongside the rest for Lance Morris, Spencer Johnson, and Xavier Bartlett.
Leading the seam attack will be Josh Hazlewood, Jason Behrendorff, and Nathan Ellis, while Adam Zampa shoulders the responsibility as the specialist spinner.
Australia Squad Preview:
David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis (wk), Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Josh Hazlewood
West Indies Preview:
While the West Indies managed to level the Frank Worrell trophy, they suffered a disappointing performance in the ODIs, failing to secure a single win. However, they are determined to put those losses behind them and kick off the T20 series with a winning start.
The West Indies will have a full-strength squad to choose from for this match. Rovman Powell will lead the team, adding his own prowess to the middle order. With the return of Brandon King and Sherfane Rutherford, the squad is bolstered with batting talent.
They will team up with Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, and Shai Hope, forming a formidable batting lineup. All-rounders Kyle Mayers and Johnson Charles are also expected to feature prominently. The seam attack will be led by Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd, and Oshane Thomas, while Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie will handle spin duties.
West Indies Squad Predicted:
Johnson Charles, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford, Rovman Powell (c), Jason Holder, Roston Chase, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hosein