As Australia are gearing up to face the West Indies in a five-match T20 series starting on Saturday morning AEST, Aaron Finch’s men will be looking to get one over the defending champions of the T20 World Cup.
With the West Indies naming the same T20 squad for their home summer, I will be looking at this West Indies squad in depth.
A destructive T20 player, Lewis won’t be afraid to clear the ropes from ball one. Although he is susceptible to spin at times, the opener is currently in good nick, scoring 188 runs in his past five T20 international gigs. If Lewis can be sent back to the pavilion in the power play, it will go a long way to helping Australia win this series.
Simmons will be very frustrated that he failed to convert his 20s into half centuries against South Africa. A slow starter who struggles to rotate the strike on slower wickets, Simmons will be attempting to bat through the innings and catch up on his strike rate in the death overs. He is a dangerous player nonetheless.
The man needs no introduction. Despite a poor series against South Africa, it’s impossible to rule out a champion T20 cricketer like Chris Gayle. Expect a fire in his belly to prove the critics wrong and make a statement this series.
A lot of pressure is on Hetmyer to deliver in T20 internationals. Averaging under 19 after 30 games for the West Indies, this may be his final series to deliver. How he responds under pressure will be interesting. Should Hetmyer fail to deliver this series, then it’s highly likely Darren Bravo will replace him.
The only keeper in the squad, Pooran will play all five matches. Although he’s going through a lean patch right now, I would expect a player as talented as Pooran to bounce back. An exciting player who has all the strokes to make fans excited, Pooran needs just one good innings to get back into the groove.
Pollard will be hungry for success in this series – he’s a born winner. He has won 15 franchise T20 titles and a T20 World Cup. Captain of the West Indian white-ball teams, Pollard will be looking to lead from the front and get his boys pumped up for the series. A match winner on his day, don’t be surprised to see Aaron Finch set a man right in front of the sight screen when he brings on his spinners to bowl at Pollard.
When fit, Russell is one of the best T20 cricketers in the world. He can bowl over 140 clicks, smash sixes for fun, and is a gun fielder. Throughout the series, watch out for Russell to bowl around the wicket and bowl wide yorkers during the death overs. While Russell usually bats at six or seven, he may be promoted up the order should the West Indies get off to a flyer with the bat.
One of the best T20 bowlers of all time, Bravo’s subtle changes of pace on slow wickets make him a difficult bowler to face. High on confidence after a good outing against South Africa with the ball, Bravo will be Australia’s biggest threat with the ball. Nullify him and the West Indies’ bowling attack will not be as dangerous as expected.
A relatively unknown name outside of the Caribbean, Hosein is an up-and-coming bowler in international cricket. He has impressed in his short ODI career thus far and despite a poor T20 debut with the ball against South Africa, he will get a fair chance against Australia. A left-arm finger spinner, Hosein relies on accuracy to frustrate and put pressure against batsmen in a similar mould to Ashton Agar.
In a short T20I career for the West Indies, McCoy has been impressive, taking 14 wickets at an average of 19.8 and a strike rate of 15. A left-arm seamer, McCoy prefers to bowl in the middle overs and use his variations of pace to dismiss batsmen.
The 39-year-old has been back in the West Indies’ T20 squad since the West Indies faced Sri Lanka this year and he is still bowling at a high speed. Tasked with the new ball, Edwards will look to blast out the Australian top order with raw pace.
While Cottrell may not start the series in the playing XI, he may get a few games later on in the series. Well known for his celebrations and his athletic fielding, Cottrell will be looking to bounce out the Aussie top order when given the chance.
Holder has redefined himself as a T20 cricketer over the past year and has massively improved in the shortest format. But it will be hard for Holder to push himself into the XI unless there is an injury to one of the all-rounders.
It’s unsure whether Fabian Allen will be playing in this series after missing the final T20 against South Africa due to injury. A batting all-rounder who bowls finger spin, Allen is also a fantastic fielder and offers the whole package to this West Indies T20 side. Should he be fit, Allen will be the first-choice spinner and play the first T20.
The back-up opener in the squad, Fletcher will be warming the bench this series unless an injury happens, or the West Indies want to experiment in the latter half of the series.
A right-arm off spinner hailing from Guyana, Kevin Sinclair has played six T20 internationals for the West Indies. Having done moderately well against South Africa, Sinclair will be serving the drinks throughout the series unless an unlikely opportunity comes through.