Preview – Defending champs Australia favorites against West Indies
West Indies and Australia have produced some exciting and entertaining encounters in ICC tournaments in the past. When the two sides meet in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, fans will hope for the same.
In the last 5 ODIs between Australia and the West Indies, Australia has won 4 matches. And when one considers the fact that Australia are the defending champions of the tournament and have had terrific ODI form this year, they begin as favorites for this clash.
Australian cricket went through its worst phase in 2018 when two of its best batsmen – Steven Smith and David Warner – were banned from international cricket for one year due to their involvement in the ball tampering saga. However, those two men are now back in the team and raring to go. What’s more, is that Australia under Aaron Finch is shaping up brilliantly and is in form – they beat India 3-2 in their home and then crushed Pakistan 5-0 in the UAE.Embed from Getty Images
Australia’s batting unit is really strong. Captain Aaron Finch has finally found form and will have Usman Khawaja as his opening partner who has been doing a phenomenal job. The return of David Warner and Steve Smith to the batting unit is a massive boost for Australia. Shaun Marsh has been in good form too and will be vital for the middle-order. Glenn Maxwell, meanwhile, can destroy the West Indian bowling if he gets going.
The Australian bowling is solid as well and has plenty of teeth. Pat Cummins is in the form of his life and can dismantle the West Indian top order. Mitchell Starc is back in the side and will be another threat. Jason Behrendorff will provide an excellent supporting role while the incisive leg-spin of Adam Zampa could prove to be effective on a flat surface.Embed from Getty Images
West Indies has a functional, all-around unit. But they are known to be unpredictable. They do not have great ODI form in the recent past and will be banking on Chris Gayle, playing his last ODI tournament, to create some magic. All-rounder Andre Russell’s destructive batting will be crucial if the West Indies has to get past Australia. The others who can make an impact for the West Indies are batsmen Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope along with fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas. Captain Jason Holder, too would have to be at his best.
Pitch conditions and Australia vs West Indies Prediction:
Like most pitches in England these days, the turf at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, has become a flat one. The highest ever ODI total in history – 481-6 by England against Australia – was achieved here in 2018. We should hence expect a flurry of boundaries and sixes given the batting talent on display from both the sides.
The team batting first should get a minimum of 330-plus. Since Australia has a well-balanced side and their bowling has more teeth, they should emerge victorious in this clash.