Australia v West Indies 3rd Test Preview

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Australia v West Indies | 3rd Test | 03 – 07 January | Sydney Cricket Ground

The Windies’ horrid tour of Australia continued as they went down by 177 runs in the second Test of the three-match series. With the Aussies sure to be sensing a whitewash, the Windies are going to be in for a tough couple of days at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

To Win Match
Australia 2/7
Draw 5/2
West Indies 25/1

Whilst their opponents have been nothing short of woeful, credit still has to go to the Aussies from the manner in which they’ve dispatched the islanders. Their batsmen have made huge scores, while their bowlers have dismantled a yellow-bellied West Indian batting line up.

While stats tend not to tell the full story in most test matches, a quick glance through the Aussies scorecard, from the second test, does justice to how dominant they’ve been.  Their first innings total of 551 set the tone for the match. Although Dave Warner went rather cheaply (23), the Australians never looked in any danger of posting a low score. James Burns (128) and Usman Khawaja (134) steadied the ship while number three batsmen and skipper, Steve Smith added a 134 runs to his side’s total. Adam Voges also chipped in with a ton; his 106* came off 166 balls.

They were just as dominant in their first bowling innings as they were in their batting innings; dismissing the Windies for 271. Tear away quick, James Pattison, returned figures  4-72 in his 22.3 over spell, while spinner, Nathan Lyon picked up three four sticks for 55 runs. The duo were at it again in the Windies second innings – Pattison picked up two wickets while Lyon sent three of the West Indian batsmen back to the pavilion during an impressive spell.

So two big victories leave the Aussies on the verge of a series whitewash. With this on the line, I expect the Australian selectors to name a very similar looking team to the one that did duty at the MCG.

West Indies

While many would say it was an improved showing from the West Indies, as managed to avoid an innings defeat for the first time in the series, I beg to differ. Allowing four of Australian’s top order to register scores in excess of 100 runs is just not good enough. Having allowed the Aussies to set a massive total of 551, you’d have expected the Windies to put in a determined showing with the bat. Guess again. While Rajendra Chandrika and Darren Bravo tried to take the shine off the ball at the top of their batting innings – Chandrika faced 95 balls for his 25 while Bravo faced 361 for his 81 – their middle order looked rather keen to return to the dressing room as quickly as possible. Marlon Samuels only lasted six balls before he was dismissed for a duck while Dinesh Ramdin and Jason Holder were also dismissed for nought.

The Windies second innings was a bit better than their first. Having been set 459 for victory, they were dismissed 177 runs shy of the Aussies total. What will have pleased the coaching staff, though, is that the top and middle order batsmen all contributed some runs to the scorecard. While no one managed to kick on – Jason Holders 68 was the highest score – they did show a lot more resolve. However, said resolve will need to be increased drastically if they are to have any chance of even competing with this impressive Australian side in the third and final Test.

Verdict: A Hundred To Be scored in The First Innings - Yes 5/10
It’s a bit of a risk, considering the Windies may end up batting first, but with Australia extremely short for an outright when, I’d advise backing the ‘Hundred to be scored in the first innings’ market.
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