One battle is over and another begins. They’re up against Australia straight away after the war with WICB. But a full strength WI side is back playing cricket. That’s the good news. Things haven’t started well with Gayle having to go back to Jamaica to be alongside his sick mother. Thankfully, he’s back and his twitter updates were good news for cricket fans in tense times. Sarwan has injured himself and isn’t playing the first test. That’s a huge blow.
Had Gayle been held up for a few more days, Dinesh Ramdin could have captained a WI test side in Australia. Few would have imagined that possibility. Fidel Edwards is in a mess now with his injury and the board has delayed his contract award. He participated in the IPL and didn’t pay heed to the board’s advice and it has proved costly now. Nobody wants to miss the plane to Australia’s test summer. So with Fidel out, Roach,Taylor and Tonge should take the fast bowling duties along with Benn taking the spinner’s spot. Rampaul is is playing ahead of Tonge but Tonge should provide better stability to the attack. He’s accurate, very similar to Stuar Clark and a little pacier than Munaf Patel.
Devon Smith and Darren Ganga are missing and young Adrian Barath should take this opportunity with both hands.
Meanwhile, Australia continue to open with Watson. He’s offering an extra bowling option but can’t continue as an opener. Hussey has kept his place and that’s a fine decision by the selectors. But there’s no Stuey. They say they have the Ashes of next season in mind and that’s rubbish. Every test series has become a lead up to the following Ashes. Every ODI series has become a lead up to the folllowing World Cup. Why aren’t they playing for the pride of winning every series they play?
It’s a big test of patience for Lee as he’s out due to yet another recurrence of his elbow trouble. He has to be back, in place of Johnson. Hauritz has done no harm to his chances with consistent performances in India recently.
Tonge will surely get his chances in the eleven. He just needs to keep up the hard work and stay fit.
This is the start of a long summer for Australia and could be make or break for Ponting’s future as test captain. He’s been Taylor’s bunny over the past few years but Benn is the man I feel will trouble Ponting the most. Johnson vs Nash is another battle to watch out for as they’ve been house mates in Queensland while Nash lived there. This should be a great experience for Roach. He,along with Benn hold they key and if the Aussie batsmen are kept under control, WI will have the upper hand. Johnson and Hauritz are far from dangerous and Siddle is quite manageable although he’s always on the money. Hilfenhaus is going to be the biggest threat.
Heart is with the West Indies. It’s up to them to ensure Micheal Clarke walks out for the toss along with Andrew Strauss,next Australian summer.