Over the course of the last few weeks on our podcast we have been exploring the best Test 11s for each nation.We started our…
After the West Indies comprehensively thumped Australia 4-1 in the five-match T20 series, the focus is set on the three-match one-day series between the two teams.
With 30 ODI Super League points on offer, both sides will be desperate to gain as many points as possible. As the series starts at 4:30am AEST on Wednesday, I will be looking at the West Indies’ ODI squad in depth.
Vice-captain of this West Indies team, Shai Hope is in incredible form in ODI cricket. Since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Hope has amassed 1026 runs with four centuries at an average of 73.28 in 18 innings. Many criticise his strike rate, but Hope holds the innings together for the West Indies. As usual, Hope will be tasked to anchor the innings. If he bats more than 40 overs, the West Indies will bat out their quota and put up big scores. The key for the Australian bowlers is to dismiss Hope early.
The opening partner of Shai Hope, Lewis has also been in good nick since the World Cup, scoring 650 runs at an average of 54. It will be interesting to see how Lewis approaches the power play. He likes to attack the seamers but as shown during the T20 series, Josh Hazlewood made him look average at times. Nonetheless, Lewis has seamlessly slotted into the role Chris Gayle has played for the West Indies many times and will look to continue his run of form.
After a torrid 2019 World Cup, Darren Bravo has had sporadic chances in the West Indies’ line-up. In his last ODI, Bravo scored a match-winning 102 in the West Indies’ run chase of 275 against Sri Lanka. Alongside Hope, Bravo will look to bat the majority of overs and ensure the West Indies do not suffer a batting collapse or fail to bat out their 50 overs.
Alongside Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran is the other danger man for the West Indies with the bat. Alongside his average of 49, Pooran’s ODI strike rate is over 106. Regardless of the pitch, Pooran bats in an aggressive manner and more importantly, he knows when to switch gears according to the match situation. Don’t be surprised to see Pooran tonk Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa over midwicket during the middle overs as he has a real liking towards the spinners.
Back in the ODI squad after fitness issues, I would expect Hetmyer to walk into the XI and replace Jason Mohammed. Consistency has been a problem for Hetmyer since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, but he is a match winner on his day. Batting at number five gives him more freedom to express himself with a reliable top four and I would expect Hetmyer to use this series as a chance to cement his spot in the West Indies’ ODI XI. If Ashton Turner does play in the ODI series, he has to be given the ball when Hetmyer walks out to bat as Hetmyer does struggle against right-arm off spin.
Having been made captain of the West Indies’ ODI team after the World Cup, Pollard has made this West Indies team playing exciting cricket. His own performances have been good for a finisher and he has started to get the best out of his players. In what will be Pollard’s first test against a high-ranking ODI team, he will be desperate to ensure the West Indies come out victorious this series, alongside the added incentive of 30 Super League points on offer.
Holder has struggled for consistency ever since he got stripped of the ODI captaincy. But a break from international cricket having not played in the T20 series versus Australia will have done him good mentally. Pollard will task Holder with the new ball and put the Aussie top six under pressure with his pace and bounce.
While Allen has been a successful T20 cricketer for the West Indies, he has not been able to show that consistency in the 50-over game. But with the wickets for the ODI series at Barbados set to be on the slower side, Allen should be in the XI as the second spinner. Australia have struggled against the West Indian spinners during the T20 series and I would expect that trend to continue in the ODI series.
The first-choice spinner in the squad, Hosein should play all three games this series. Hosein will entice the Aussie batsmen with his accuracy and flight. Pitches will suit him and with an Aussie squad filled with players who struggle to rotate the strike against spin, Hosein will be enjoying his prospects of knocking over a few poles this series.
An express quick who has been praised from his under-19 days as a speedster, Alzarri Joseph has been impressive for the West Indies in ODI cricket. Throughout the series, Joseph will be first change and given the role of blasting out the Aussie batsmen with pace during the middle overs.
Cottrell brings variety into the West Indian line-up with his left-arm seamers. Alongside Holder, Cottrell will most likely bowl with the new ball and look to take wickets in the power play. Add in his athletic fielding and lower-order batting and the West Indies bat deep this series.
While Mohammed is retained in the West Indies’ squad, it is highly unlikely he will remain in the XI with Shimron Hetmyer back in the squad. With a lack of consistency shown in ODI cricket by Mohammed, he will have to be content serving drinks throughout the series.
An off-spinning all-rounder, Chase has shown his talent at times for the West Indies in ODI cricket. However, unless the Barbados wicket is spitting demons, I do not see Chase forcing his way into the XI over Fabian Allen or as a third spinner.
Romario Shepherd and Anderson Phillip
The back-up fast bowlers in the squad, both players have loads of potential to fire as West Indian ODI cricketers. Should the West Indies wrap up the series in two games, I can see the duo being given a chance in the third ODI.