The ongoing 5 T20I games as scheduled for Australia’s tour of West Indies see West Indies dominate and seal the series in just three games and also hand Australia their fourth straight T20I series defeat.
Pollard has pulled up an injury and Pooran will be captaining the side. Australia in the first T20I were excellent with the ball restricting Windies to a total of 145 and it was Hazelwood’s excellence that saw Windies post a small total. The contingent touring has a few inexperienced players but they are all impact players you wish perform, in reality Australia chasing 145 were bowled out for 127 as they see a shocking collapse that surely had no excuse, runs from Marsh at no 3 turns out to be a big positive sign for Australia. For Windies it was McCoy who along with Hayden Walsh ruled the middle order and ensured the win as Windies go 1-0 up.
Windies high on confidence after that stunning win in the opening T20I did not let the momentum slip, the story remains the same but with a change. The Australian bowling that looked lethal in the first T20I has not looked worth a watch post half way stage as the world champions, West Indies smashed aussie bowlers all round the park. In reply Australia walk in with dropped shoulders, chasing a big 196 run target and don’t make any statement worth a record. They don’t see a good start and when managed to hang in during the middle overs for a while let it go and ended up as a collapse, this time Windies bowled Australia out for 140 and will again be thankful for runs from Marsh as he has back to back 50’s at no 3. Windies it was that man again, Hayden Walsh who bagged 3, all of the Aussie middle order and Shimron Hetmyer who put up a stellar batting display that was a fantastic innings and the best of his so far and Windies go 2-0 up.
Australia have been in such situations before and have bounced back strong. Would be safe to say the monkey in the room was not addressed at priority for the 3rd T20 as Australia don’t, don’t really change a bit and see yet another substandard batting display where Australia manage to crawl and post 141 on board that seemed a no target to Windies as they very comfortably chased down the target in 14.5 overs. It was that man Chris Gayle who after a few Gayle storm indications converted into action and the Gayle storm hit and did no good to the Aussie bowlers as Windies grabbed the series win as they go 3-0 up im the five match series. Australia’s point of view Starc who had two very poor outings shut critics with excellent bowling figures.
With the series defeat and a couple of games left Australia have a golden opportunity to experiment with their best available XI. Australia will look on at their openers, where Wade’s not really got off as he has displayed in domestic or the BBL, Finch has had a poor run for quite sometime where he has managed to get in a few big innings. So, a shift in batting order would probably help Australia have an answer especially with David Warner who would return on national duties for the world cup. The middle order has missed likes of Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell where a couple of impactful youngsters were tried but have repeatedly failed to impress in international games despite domestic or the BBL success.
Lack of a finisher, Australia are completely aware and have looked to address it quite often but yet stand unanswered. Dan Christian, the 38 year old veteran who’s shined all across the globe looked the answer but his poor run on return to international cricket see’s the missing piece of the puzzle back in picture and might head back to Stoinis for the role but isn’t available for this and the next series. Bowling has been a major concern for a while where the pacers have not really clicked in and with Pat Cummins who’ll return for the world cup duties there will be a lot for Australia to rearrange. The spinners often get the job done but hasn’t been the case this time, Agar with a few wickets and Zampa has looked completely off colour. Not a lot to change in the bowling as there are a few inexperienced bowlers in bank so it’s worth to back the experienced pack.
A possible answer to Australia’s trouble would be of having “A team” games with nation’s like India and England who currently do look strong to compete despite being a string team, that would see players coming in from Domestic or the BBL to the “A team” and be furnished for International duties. Australia undoubtedly have the bench strength but has looked fragile when on display and will require some finishing to display fine products be it any format of play, the “A team” could really be an answer.
Australia have the best chance to experiment with two T20I games scheduled ahead also would want to relook and play their best XI with nothing more to lose. The real Australian colour is missed and the next couple of games the players would want to get that in and save a possible whitewash.