Tomorrow is the final test of this series, which has proven to be a bit of a tester for the Australians but quite importantly a great period for the West Indies team to start regrouping. They have shown determination and a lot more promise in this series.
The Baggy Green have retained the Frank Worrell trophy and will be looking to put the third Test in the bag, and fly with that momentum into the ODI series.
The squad for tomorrow’s Test has been announced:
Ricky Ponting (captain),
Michael Clarke (Vice Captain),
Brad Haddin (wk),
The breaking news is that Brad Haddin will play, despite having broken his finger back in the First test. I say, ‘what a champ!’ Really pleased Brad will stay behind the stumps. With the retirement of Stuart MacGill, another, much younger New South Wales spinner steps into fill the void. Beau Casson will make his debut tomorrow. With age on his side and being put in with a fair bit of pressure to go with him I feel this could only serve him well on his debut. I have seen plenty footage of him and I am interested to see how he ignites his International career.
With the series claimed, there’s less pressure but still a strong sense to win this final test convincingly.
With the loss of MacGill, Casson gets his debut and I see this as a strength.
Why? We have an unknown player to the West Indies and also a retired wrist spinner being replaced by a younger wrist spinner. Seems a strong gain in the circumstances.
Clarke, Symonds and Ponting are all in fine form with the bat as well as Brett Lee and Stuart Clark from a bowling aspect. Katich and Jaques showed a lot more promise and stability in the second test at the top of the order.
Inconsistency may be the slight concern. The heavy reliance upon Lee and Clark needs to change. We have a highly capable bowling attack and all round contributions with the ball are important. In time this weakness could develop. Our batting has seemed a lot slower than our usual standard at Test match level. If the rate could be picked we may see results a lot sooner. It seems we just need a few tweaks here and there.
We have the opportunity to go in with less pressure and fight for a convincing victory. We have a new player in the line-up as well as a few players who will not be part of the One-day squad who will be determined to make an impression before heading back home. The opportunity for hard playing Test cricket to take a win lies ahead and take the series 2-0.
Chris Gayle is back! Despite his below par performances in Test cricket as of recent, he is a dangerous cricketer who will be leading his side with tenacity and his play it cool attitude.
The West Indies bowlers have caused a few discomforts for the Australian batsman. I am still in the firm belief they could be lifting their standards quite drastically. Sarwan and Chanderpaul were outstanding with the bat last match, Chanderpaul in particular has been the dynamite batsman of the tour. These two are a threat; if they get going so does the scoreboard.
There is a new T20 competition emerging that looks extremely exciting from a domestic frontier, which I will write my opinions upon very soon.
In the meantime Test match cricket is in my entertainment scopes for the next 5 days…maybe less!