It has been a while since West Indies and Australia last came face to face. That is because, the hosts lost the Test inside three days, and both sides got two days off, and the Windies lots to ponder upon. Whenever a side loses inside three days, it is extremely disheartening, and so was the case with Denesh Ramdin’s men as they went down to Australia. The victory at Dominica meant that the visitors had already reclaimed the Fran Worrell Trophy, since this is just a two-Test series. West Indies can still level the series at Jamaica, but that would need one helluva performance.
Match: West Indies vs Australia 2nd Test at Jamaica
Time: Match begins at 10:00 local time (15:00 GMT | 8 PM IST)
Recent history points out that West Indies haven’t beaten Australia in a Test for well over a decade. And now, with no Brian Lara, and not even Shivnarine Chanderpaul, their chances are even bleaker. If at all they want to compete against the mighty Aussies, the West Indians would need to show significant improvements in all departments of their game. At Dominica, their batting was disappointing in both innings, their bowlers failed to get through the tail after demolishing the top and middle-order while the fielding was lethargic.
In spite of another woeful loss, West Indies did have their moments in the game. Leg spinner Devendra Bishoo was the one man who stood tall, well above the rest. Bishoo made his debut some years ago as a promising young talent, but soon faded away like so many of his predecessors. He has begun impressively in his second stint, and must now look to build on the same. The manner in which he bamboozled quality players like Steven Smith and Brad Haddin should give him a lot of confidence as West Indies take on the Aussies again.
In the second innings, newcomer Shane Dowrich batted very well for his 70. He stood up against a quality attack comprising Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson. The innings should serve as a genuine source of encouragement for both him and the team. Marlon Samuels also batted well, although given his experience, he played a poor stroke to get out a crucial juncture. West Indies need better efforts from their opening batsmen as well as bowlers since it sets the tone of things. Also, while skipper Ramdin was critical of Samuels, he needs to realise that he himself has been letting the team down.
Australia will be missing Chris Rogers again, which means Shaun Marsh will get another opportunity to stake claim for an Ashes spot. The Aussies would be extremely pleased with the debut of Adam Voges who after, what seemed like an unending wait, played a match-winning innings in his very first Test. The tail also supported Voges well, but the frequent collapse in the top and middle order remains a concern for the team. At the same time, they should be extremely pleased with how their bowling is shaping up, the Mitchells in particular standing out with their dominance.
--By A Cricket Analyst