The small ground and excellent batting track at Warner Park in St. Kitts is expected to play into the hands of the big hitting West Indians when they come up against Australia in their third match of the Ballr Tri-Series today at 1.30pm.
The Australians rocketed to the top of the standings after their win over South Africa on Saturday night and now have nine points from three matches. The South Africans follow with five points and the West Indies four.
West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin who clouted 169 in an ODI here two years ago is itching to get unto the Park. “The pitch here is good for batting and we are looking forward to playing here. Guyana was difficult but now comes a chance for us to really make some runs. I have been working hard over the past few weeks and I am hoping that the batting come together here to give bowlers something good to work with.”
Although the pitch is expected to favour the faster bowlers with some pace and bounce early on, West Indies will still be depending on mystery spinner Sunil Narine who grabbed 8/69 in the Guyana leg. Narine also has an impressive record at Warner Park with 10 wickets at 10.60 in four ODIs at the venue.
Australia, on the other hand, will be missing the important stroke player David Warner, who slammed a half century against the West Indies in Guyana and then recorded 109 against Australia on Saturday. Warner fractured his left index finger and will not play today.
Warner noted that the West Indies will however be a dangerous unit here saying :”We know that given a small ground, the impact that the big players the West Indies have, we’re going to have to be on from ball one and really hit our lengths and not miss our mark.”
West Indies will be wary of their nemesis Mitchel Starc who has been brilliant since his return to international cricket after a six-month lay-off. He needs five more wickets to reach 100 in ODIs and if he achieves that during this series he will become the first to that landmark.
West Indies: Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Sunil Narine and Jerome Taylor.
Australia: Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood.