Australia vs West Indies Live Predictions
A year back to say West Indies, Australia are strong contenders for CWC 19 would have sounded like a wasted arrow.
Team’s lead up to the World Cup
Australia was in shambles with their egos bruised and reputation damaged thanks to Sandpaper gate saga which resulted in two modern day greats being banned for a year.
While the team’s performance in the cricketing ground was anything but shambolic with losses to England, Pakistan, South Africa and India.
Since the loss to India in January on its home turf, its been a 180-degree turnaround with Australia dominating India, Pakistan at its home venue with Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins taking the responsibilities and successful integration of banned player David Warner and Steven Smith in the team. In Marcus Stoinis they unearthed a gem who has shown guts to not only tough it out in difficult times but also bowl at the death. All of these six half-centuries had come at a time of crisis when the team was down and out.
While the West Indies had to go through the hard yard of fighting in the World Cup qualifiers before an administrative overhaul brought Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Andre Russell in the mix and Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo have been named in the reserved list of players shows the talent of West Indies team.
However, it was taking the bull by horns performance against England where they drew 2-2 with Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas taking five wickets in the series but the standout was 40 years old Universe Boss getting 424 runs in 4 innings at a strike rate of 134 with record 39 sixes who has transformed this unit into potentially World Cup-winning squad and you add Andre Russell at No.7 , a team can pull off match from near death situation as long as he is at crease as Dre Russ showed in IPL with 500 runs at strike rate of over 200.
In Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer Windies have unearthed two games of a player who had a blazing start to their international career with one becoming fastest to 2000 international ODI runs for India and another product of windows domestic set up who lead them to U-19 WC win in 2016 and since then made giant strides.
With Russell promising to dish out short ball to Australia as they did to Pakistan, Australia has not found themselves in the line of fire as far as words go from the Windies team in past 20 years. Can history change today?
Alternatively, with Australia winning 9 out of last ten match they played against Windies and even previous three encounters in World Cup. Do Team in Yellow hold the aces?
Match Venue and Weather
Cloud cover is expected at the Nottingham with chances of showers delaying the start of the match, and it’s likely to rain could play spoilsport.
So the team who wins toss would like to bowl first especially if Australia wins as Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins would lick their lips ripe through one-dimensional batting attack. The average score in last six matches is 309 with chasing team winning 3 while coming out second best on remaining occasions. The previous game between England and Pakistan was a high scoring one with a total of 682 runs scored by both the teams.So despite batting paradise it is known to be ,things might take U-turn as far as batting goes.
Even West Indies would favour bowling first to make use of assistance on offer. In Andre Rusell, Oshane Thomas and even Jason Holder Windies have enough firepower to knock out any batting attack as they showed against a strong batting lineup of Pakistan to bowl them out for 105. In Ashley Nurse, they another spin-allrounder who can bowl steadily and does the job with few lusty blows in the end.
Men to watch out in both teams
West Indies will be reliable on Chris Gayle, with him in the group and firing, no total is big enough to chase, and demoralizing effect on bowler psyche makes life easier for the subsequent batsman. Though Gayle averages 26 without single century with the bat against Kangaroos most of those matches were played against the bowling unit of Lees, McGraths, Gillespies without two new ball rule in the powerplay. A time to make amend, what a grand stage for that!
Perhaps the unorthodox batsman of West Indian team, who would pace innings giving respect to good bowling and punishing bad balls with singles, twos while in the bowling department onus would lie on Darren Bravo to build the innings while rest go hammer and tongs.
Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell will be shouldering the responsibility to clean up Australian batting. While Andre Rusell, Carlos Braithwaite will always be in the game thanks to their three-dimensional skillset.
For Australia, David Warner looks hungrier, fitter to replicate IPL success. Also, he would be wanting to bat through the end as he did against Afghanistan with 89 *.Mitch Starc in the bowling will be the key. Pat Cummins in the middle and death overs is, and when West Indies batsman gets going, the captain will hand over the ball to Cummins could stop the flow of runs with his variation by picking wickets.
Australia would be tempted to play Nathan Lyon given four left-handed batsmen in the Windies lineup with the off-spinner averaging 24 against lefties (compared to 37 against right-handers), while his economy rate in ODIs is significantly lower against lefties than to righties (4.3 runs per over compared to 5.1) in Test cricket.
Don’t discount Glenn Maxwell with his off-spin and unorthodox batting in the middle overs and death. With an average of 41 in 2019, Maxwell has found a mantra to be consistent, who knows today could be one of the Big Show. Maxwell could open bowling today given Universe Boss weakness against Off-spin.
However, consistent Australia starts the favourite after having crushed Afghanistan in the opening encounter. No doubt they can do a similar thing to Windies as well. They have weapons of mass destruction for the West Indies batting lineup with even Jason Behrendroff could be brought in to counter the threat of Chris Gayle whom Jason has snapped three times in all three matches both players were on the opposite number.
There could be a stage where Windies batting takes away the breath showing glimpses of old Calypso flavour, but the experience of the big matches in the Australian lineup cannot be purchased, and they should have nerves to pull off this win. Moreover, with Australia steaming in and India’s momentum after the win against South Africa. India vs Australia will be a good watch, as good as a knockout trailer.
If Windies win, there is a chance for that as well with the talent they have; it could mean Windies put itself ahead of all contenders for the fourth spot after England, Australia and India but Windies have to bat well to give itself any chance.