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How will Australia’s three Ws fare in the land of the three Ws?

Kersi Meher-Homji Roar Rookie

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    From the 1960s to 1995, the tour of the Caribbean was the holy grail, the litmus paper to test a country’s cricketing greatness.

    Australia and the West Indies fought many thrilling Test encounters home and away, the most famous being the 1960-61 Test series which included the first tied Test in Brisbane.

    This inaugurated the Frank Worrell Trophy, which Australia has held since 1995, winning four times in Australia and four times in the West Indies.

    Will Michael Clarke’s men return home from the Caribbean on the 28th of April holding the Frank Worrell Trophy again?

    Different Australian squads have been chosen for the Windies tour; for the five one-day internationals starting in Kingstown on Friday, two Twenty20s starting on March 27, and three Tests commencing on April 7.

    Only seven players have been selected in all three squads: vice-captain and top order bat Shane Watson, openers David Warner and Matthew Wade, middle order batsmen Michael Hussey and Peter Forrest, fast bowler James Pattinson and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

    How will the Aussie trio of Ws — Warner, Wade and Watson – go in the land of the three fabulous Windies Ws – Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott? Like Worrell, Watson is an all-rounder, and Wade keeps wickets as Walcott did.

    They have a long way to go before they could be considered in the same bracket as the Windies wonders, but it’s an interesting coincidence to discuss at the water cooler during morning tea breaks.

    Will Clarke be fit enough to lead Australia in the first ODI? Watson showed promise as captain in Clarke’s absence in the recently concluded tri-nations series in Australia, beating India in Sydney on the 26th of February and Sri Lanka in the third final in Adelaide to lift the trophy.

    My XI for the first ODI, in batting order, would be Warner, Watson, Clarke (all-rounder Daniel Christian to bat at No. 6 if Clarke is unfit), Forrest, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Brad Haddin, Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Clint McKay and Lyon.

    12th man would be top-order batsman George Bailey. Reserves would be Wade, Brett Lee, and slow left-arm orthodox Xavier Doherty.

    To me, Wade’s wicket-keeping was disappointing in the finals of the recent series. Lee gives away too many runs in ODIs.

    I would have picked Peter Siddle above Hilfenhaus in my XI, but he is not in the ODI squad.

    Pattinson and Hilfenhaus will start the attack in the ODI opener at Kingstown with in-form McKay coming at first change. Then run-saver Watson and offie Lyon.

    My prediction is that Australia will win the ODI series 3-0.

    They are the top-ranked ODI team with 127 points, leading second-ranked South Africa by nine points. The West Indians rank eighth, with 79 points.

    Kersi Meher-Homji
    Kersi Meher-Homji

    Kersi is an author of 13 cricket books including The Waugh Twins, Cricket's Great All-rounders,Six Appeal and Nervous Nineties. He writes regularly for Inside Cricket and other publications. He has recently finished his new book on Cricket's Conflicts and Controversies, with a foreword by Greg Chappell.

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    The Crowd Says (46)

    • March 15th 2012 @ 4:24am
      AndyMack said | March 15th 2012 @ 4:24am | ! Report

      Hey KMH,

      I love how you open up with the “how will the three-W’s fare” and then proceed to tell us one of them won’t (or shouldn’t) make the team. Lets hope the other 2 W’s fare better!!!

      Wouldn’t be surprised in the Windies pinch an ODI (or even 2). We will have to be on our game.

    • March 15th 2012 @ 6:32am
      ManInBlack said | March 15th 2012 @ 6:32am | ! Report

      I’ve no idea why you’d be naming Haddin as the ODI keeper??

      because, serioiusly, he was dropped from the ODIs with a run of poor form and I don’t see any reason why Wade would now make way for Haddin.

    • March 15th 2012 @ 7:59am
      Jason said | March 15th 2012 @ 7:59am | ! Report

      The 1999 Windies tour was one of the best series of all time as well. It’s only been since the 00s that the Windies havetotally sucked and even then they had the 417 chase in 2003.

      Also, the greatest 3 Ws were Waugh, Waugh and Warne!

      • March 15th 2012 @ 12:08pm
        Bayman said | March 15th 2012 @ 12:08pm | ! Report


        I didn’t realise you stuttered!!!

        Certainly your three W’s are a long way ahead of Warner, Wade and Watson – and by a factor.

        A comparison with Worrell, Weekes and Walcott is much more even – especially if you also consider the legacy each has left to the game following their retirement.

        Worrell changed the way the game is administered in the West Indies – black captains became the norm. Warne changed the way we view a cricketer’s social life! Walcott was a long time administrator for the West Indies and the ICC. Steve Waugh helped prepare the Argus Report.

        Weekes and Mark Waugh settled for the quiet life.

        Of course, the Windies trio had a much shorter Test career span the the Aussies but they certainly packed a lot in. The Aussies might win on the sheer numbers – courtesy of that longevity – but the quality is much closer than some might think. Those Windies Three Ws were pretty good players.

        • March 16th 2012 @ 1:35am
          amazonfan said | March 16th 2012 @ 1:35am | ! Report

          The WIndies Three Ws were amazing players, and in fact, I would put them above Australia’s Ws. While Warne was the greatest W of all time, Mark Waugh’s legend is based upon more his ability than his achievements (although he had some pretty good achievements), and Steve’s legend was mainly based upon his longevity. All three Ws were knighted; I would argue that only Warne (and to a lesser extent Steve) deserves a knighthood among Australia’s Ws.

          • March 16th 2012 @ 8:13am
            Kersi Meher-Homji said | March 16th 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

            Here are points out of 10 for the famous W trios:
            Worrell 9/10
            Weekes 9/10
            Walcott 7.5/10
            WI total: 25.5/30 (85%)

            S Waugh 8/10
            M Waugh 7.5/10
            Warne 9.5/10
            Aus total: 25/30 (83.3%)

            • March 16th 2012 @ 11:13pm
              amazonfan said | March 16th 2012 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

              A tough marker. Why only 7.5/10 for Walcott, who averaged 56.69 and who remains the only batsman to score five centuries in a single Test series? I also think he should be ranked ahead of Mark Waugh.

              As for Warne’s being ranked 9.5/10, do you believe that nobody deserves to be ranked 10/10, or is 10/10 only reserved for the likes of Bradman (and perhaps Sobers)?

          • March 16th 2012 @ 4:44pm
            Bayman said | March 16th 2012 @ 4:44pm | ! Report


            I am inclined to agree with you…….

    • Columnist

      March 15th 2012 @ 8:39am
      Brett McKay said | March 15th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      Kersi, there’s two changes you can make to your team for the first ODI right now, as both Pattinson and now Hilfenhaus have been ruled out. I’ll suggest Lee (as the only other fit quick) and Doherty (to take advantage of the slow dusty decks) in their places..

    • March 15th 2012 @ 8:50am
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | March 15th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Thanks Jason, Wow — Waugh, Waugh and Warne were just as wonderful as Worrell, Weekes and Walcott.

      AndyMack, My selection was only for the first ODI starting tomorrow. Wade can come back in the team in subsequent matches to justify my headline!

      Another trivia: Ten Hs represented Australia in international cricket in 2009-10: Mike and David Hussey, Brad Haddin, Phil Hughes, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, Moises Henriques, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes and Josh Hazlewood. And five of them are from NSW: Haddin, Hughes, Hauritz, Henriques and Hazlewood.

      • March 15th 2012 @ 9:08am
        Jason said | March 15th 2012 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        Take it back a year or so and can’t add Hayden and Hodge.

        Of course, the All Time England XI is likely to include Hobbs, Hutton and Hammond.

        • March 15th 2012 @ 9:26am
          sheek said | March 15th 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report


          Not “likely”. An all-time England XI “should” include Hobbs, Hutton & Hammond as the top 3. Followed by Compton, Barrington & Botham. A 2nd XI “might” include Sutcliffe, Boycott, Grace, Pietersen & two others.

          Cook, Jackson, Jardine, Woolley, Paynter, May, Dexter, Cowdrey, Graveney, Gower being among the stronger other candidates.


          • March 15th 2012 @ 4:30pm
            Jason said | March 15th 2012 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

            Well I said likely because there is obviously a strong argument for Sutcliffe. Indeed you could possibly have Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Hutton at 3 then Hammond who I think was stonger at 4 than 3.

    • March 15th 2012 @ 8:53am
      sheek said | March 15th 2012 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Hi Kersi,

      The 1999 series was pretty special. This was basically the Windies “last shot in the locker” before the talent dried up. The 3 Ws, eh?

      Warner, a specialist bat similar to Weekes.

      Watson, a batting all-rounder similar to Worrell.

      Wade, a keeper-batsman, or is that batsman-keeper similar to Walcott.

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