T20I series preview: Windies v Oz


Having dished out an enthralling one-day series, the West Indies and Australia face off in a two Twenty20 matches that are sure to pack plenty of power.

Having dished out an enthralling one-day series, the West Indies and Australia face off in a two Twenty20 matches that are sure to pack plenty of power.

Few would have predicted that the ODI series would have gone down to the wire in the fashion that it did or that it would be the Australians needed a win from the final game to salvage a draw.

The West Indies certainly laid down a marker of intent, with their renewed – and consistent – fight a joy to watch.

Both teams will look at the upcoming fixtures as an opportunity to build for the World Twenty20 in September, where they will face each other once more in Group B.

Twenty20 is not a format in which Australia have excelled in recent times. The Aussies have won just three of the 11 games they have played since the last World Twenty20 in May 2010. And they don't head into the upcoming series looking particularly up for it either.

Brett Lee's late salvo in the fourth ODI and David Warner's knock in the final clash aside, the Australians were at no stage able to really break free from the West Indian bowling. While Messrs Pollard, Russell and Sammy made merry with the big hits, their hosts were unable to execute too many boundaries; this will certainly be a concern.

Add to this, the area where Mickey Arthur's men struggled the most during the one-dayers was in their bowling during the Powerplay and at the death, too often they just didn't seem to know what they should be doing to limit the runs.

Conversely, the West Indies will enter the series confident that they are performing strongly in the key skill sets required in T20 – heavy hitting and tight bowling.

Perhaps more importantly, they are brimming with confidence.

The hosts have been boosted by the return of paceman Fidel Edwards and the prospect of opening up with Kemar Roach and Edwards will give the Australian batting line-up plenty to worry about.

Interestingly, the West Indies haven't played that many T20s in recent times (just five in nearly two years) and they've enjoyed a mixed bag of results. One feels this may be their time to improve that record.

<B>Key Men<br>West Indies:</b> <i>Kieron Pollard</i> has shown how deadly he can be when he's in the mood. If he gets going the Windies may not need much else to win.

<B>Australia:</B> The Australian bowling attack was missing that X-Factor at times during the one-day series and <i>James Pattinson</i> will be the man who will be charged with delivering that extra something special on his return from injury.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><BR>2010: Australia won by six wickets at Gros Islet<br>2010: Australia won by eight wickets at Sydney<br>2010: Australia won by 38 runs at Hobart<br>2009: West Indies won by seven wickets at The Oval<br>2008: West Indies won by seven wickets in Bridgetown

<b>Prediction</b><br> Twenty20 is always a bit of a lottery and such expect this series to be shared one apiece.

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<b>Squads<br>West Indies:</B> Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Carlton Baugh, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Garey Mathurin, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Andrew Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Dwayne Smith

<B>Australia:</B> George Bailey (captain), Shane Watson, Daniel Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Nathan Lyon, Clint McKay, Peter Nevill, James Pattinson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.