WI vs AUS 1st T20 Dream11 Prediction Possible Playing 11 Pitch Report | WI vs AUS 1st T20 Dream11 Prediction Today | West Indies vs Australia 1st T20I Key Players | St Lucia Pitch Report
Block out your calendars. Maybe chuck a small party with your family at home. Australia are finally back playing cricket. And, one of the toughest tests in T20 cricket awaits them.
Sure, West Indies are coming off a surprise 3-2 series defeat against South Africa, but Australia will still have to hit their straps straight away. With a number of first-team players not present on tour, it is an opportunity for a number of players to plug holes in the Australian team and make a case for a spot in the upcoming T20 World Cup. Indeed, Aaron Finch and Justin Langer will be hoping that the team fires right away against a side coming off five T20I matches in the quest to build confidence and nail some of the important combinations that are still unanswered from an Australian perspective.
From a Windies perspective, how quickly can they bounce back? We’ve listed four key areas for Pollard’s team to improve on from their series defeat to the Proteas, and no doubt they’ll use this series as a means to build confidence ahead of their T20 World Cup defence later this year. Powerplay wickets will be key against an Australian side that could still rely a lot on their top order, and it will be interesting to see how the home side approaches the middle overs with bat in hand.
Key Players to Watch/Key Stats
- Evin Lewis was West Indies’ highest run-scorer in the recent series vs South Africa (178, avg. 35.60, SR 160.36). Also, he has a decent T20 record on this ground, with 237 runs at an average of 29.63 and strike rate of 141.07. Signs point to a 30+ score here.
- Chris Gayle has enjoyed success against Australia in the past. He has scored 299 runs in eight T20Is at an average of 42.71 and strike rate of 159.89. Plus, Gayle has dominated teams at St. Lucia in T20s, with 397 runs at 66.17 and a superb strike rate of 175.66.
- Kieron Pollard will have a key role to play. He played just the one significant knock in the recent South Africa series, so he will be after a more consistent performance. He has the fifth-most runs in WI-AUS T20Is, with 159 to his name (avg. 22.71, SR 157.42).
- Also, Pollard has an unbelievable record at St. Lucia in T20s. In 15 matches, he has amassed 541 runs at an average of 90.17 and strike rate of 177.38. He has taken eight wickets, too.
- Eyes will be on Andre Russell in this battle. He was well under par in the recent South Africa series, scoring just 62 runs at 15.50. His 82 runs in T20s on this ground come at an insane strike rate of 234.29 (avg. 27.33).
- Dwayne Bravo recently finished with the most wickets in the WI-SA series (10), closely followed by the impressive Obed McCoy (9). Both will be key in limiting the Aussie batting lineup as Jason Holder will be rested.
- Skipper Aaron Finch needs to lead the way. He has played just the two T20Is vs West Indies (20 runs), and one can say he has come leaps and bounds as a white-ball player since 2014.
- Matthew Wade much prefers batting first in T20s. When batting first, Wade has scored 1,946 runs at 36.72 (SR 149.12). When batting second, the numbers drop significantly to 17.71 and 115.89 respectively. He scored 52 off 34 balls in Australia’s second intra-squad warmup match.
- Mitchell Marsh scored a 28-ball 56 in the first intra-squad match in this tour. He then followed it up with 31 off 21 balls in the next intra-squad match. He will be key batting at number three.
- How will Josh Philippe adapt to a middle order role? The talented right-hander scored 67 off 43 balls a couple of days ago in the intra-squad match.
- Welcome back, Dan Christian. The 38-year old will have a key role to play in solving Australia’s middle order worries. He was superb in the last BBL campaign, smashing 272 runs at a strike rate of 182.55, along with 15 wickets. He also scored 47 off 31 balls in the first intra-squad match.
- Ashton Agar has taken 19 wickets in 11 T20Is since the start of 2020, including two five-fors. He will be key in conditions that can assist spin, along with Adam Zampa.
- Mitchell Starc needs to lead the way for Australia, particularly at the death. He took six wickets in three games vs West Indies between 2012 and 2014.
Stats and Facts
- Australia and West Indies will meet for the first time in a T20I since 2014.
- Australia have a 100% win record in T20Is at St. Lucia (four wins).
- Moises Henriques comes into this match in good touch, after scores of 51 and 36 in the recent warm-up matches.
Possible Playing 11
The home side will look to stick with similar players in the batting lineup, according to skipper Kieron Pollard.
West Indies: 1. Lendl Simmons, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Chris Gayle, 4. Shimron Hetmyer, 5. Kieron Pollard (c), 6. Andre Russell, 7. Nicholas Pooran (wk), 8. Dwayne Bravo, 9. Akeal Hosain, 10. Obed McCoy, 11. Fidel Edwards
Australia coach Justin Langer said that Mitchell Marsh will bat at three. Also, Dan Christian will play, along with Moises Henriques, Ben McDermott and Josh Philippe.
Australia: 1. Aaron Finch, 2. Matthew Wade (wk), 3. Mitchell Marsh, 4. Moises Henriques, 5. Ben McDermott, 6. Josh Philippe, 7. Dan Christian, 8. Ashton Agar, 9. Mitchell Starc, 10. Adam Zampa, 11. Riley Meredith/Josh Hazlewood
Darren Sammy National Stadium St. Lucia Pitch Report and Weather
Spin is expected to play a key role on a ground where 160 is usually par. In the last men’s T20s on this ground, back in 2019, there were four first innings scores in the 160s out of six matches. Spin is expected to play a role, so batting first could be tempting given that the cloudy weather could see dew not play a factor. Despite the clouds, a dry evening is forecast.
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West Indies start this match as favourites, given they have a strong T20 side and have been playing regularly in recent times. Australia will be looking to make a good start, as South Africa showed that the Windies are beatable. However, my pick is for WI to take out the first game in a tight one.