Australia are readying themselves for their next challenge under new captain Steve Smith. After their recent 2-0 series win against New Zealand, the three-match series against the West Indies is set to get underway in Hobart tomorrow.
Following their historic win in the day-night Test in Adelaide, the Aussies will be confident of repeating their recent success against a dismal West Indies team desperately looking for form.
After being comprehensively beaten by ten wickets in a warm-up match against the Cricket Australia XI - a team with no Test experience - West Indies' confidence will have taken a hit and it will be hard to turn their fortunes around in just four days.
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Australia will have to make at least one change to the squad with fast bowler Mitchell Starc out for the summer with a stress fracture in his right ankle. Nathan Coulter-Nile has been a shock addition to the 12-man squad despite having played no four-day domestic cricket this season.
Pundits had put their money on Jackson Bird making a return to international cricket after his four-day domestic form had returned 18 wickets at 24.77. It’s doubtful that Coulter-Nile will get game-time with James Pattinson, 12th man in Adelaide, likely to replace the injured Starc.
Selector Rod Marsh only half-joked about calling Mitchell Johnson out of retirement but was realistic about the chances of Johnson returning to the Test Arena. “There's a reason he retired, and that's because he didn't want to play anymore. It's as simple as that, so you don't go there,” said Marsh.
With only one West Indies batsman passing 50 in Brisbane, it could be a very long summer for the Calypso Kings who haven’t won a series against a top five cricket nation since their 2-0 defeat
of New Zealand in 2012.
Victoria's paceman Scott Boland has been placed on standby in case any of the three main strike bowlers Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Pattinson are unfit to play in Hobart.
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