Cricket: ICC World Twenty20 Preview: Australia v West Indies

Australia’s second and final group stage match is against the West Indies at midnight September 23 AEST.

For Australia, their seven wicket win over cricketing minnows Ireland will serve as a confidence booster when they face a much tougher West Indies outfit.  With explosive opener Chris Gayle back in the side after a pay dispute, the line-up is looking much more threatening.

Shane Watson’s half century and three wicket performance against Ireland will put him on the back foot to perform again.  Captain Darren Sammy and vice-captain all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will be raring to eat into an impressive bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

This is a must win match for the Aussies, who (although previously made it to the 2010 final but were beaten by England.  David Warner must fire, and while he looked good scoring 26 against Ireland, he needs to convert a start into a big score.  While there is Matthew Wade, Michael Hussey and Cameron White in the batting order, the West Indies fast bowling attack will pose problems, and Watson and Warner will need to take care of this.

For the West Indies, the return of Gayle, who has the ability to turn matches at the drop of a coin, will be a tremendous coup.  In recent times, their form has been scratchy, but their squad has the potential to upset at this tournament. Australia will go through to the next stage if they win tonith, while the West Indies would need a win against Ireland to get through. If Gayle goes early, it’s Australia for all money. If not, then a score oft 180 plus looks very likely.

(Image source: ICC)


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