Australia play West Indies in the fourth of five ODIs at Gros Islet on March 23.
A fighting effort from West Indies in the series so far has meant that the top-ranked ODI side in the world is struggling to thwart the challenge from eighth-ranked home team. The series is tied at one game apiece after a thrilling tie in the third game, which for most time through the host’s chase, looked like it was going Australia’s way.
Then, the lower West Indian order forged together some fighting stands and captain Darren Sammy helped them split the game.
This suddenly means that Australia are in a serious danger of losing a series many thought they would win to love. Whether it is ad hoc or a matter of finding the right combination, the selectors have also made two changes to the playing 11 as they bring in Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Forrest to replace Daniel Christian and Nathan Lyon.
While this will weaken their bowling attack it should bolster the fledgling Australian batting.
What will also help the Australian batting is the change in venue – there could be much more bounce and carry at Gros Islet as compared to St. Vincent and batting will be easier for the top-order.
West Indies will see a change too, as Adrian Barath comes in to replace Kieran Powell. Barath will hope that Johnson Charles can get going with his punching game at the start of the innings to take some heat off his comeback match while the team will look for a quick start.
The rest of the West Indian team should remain the same. Their bowling will continue to rely on the pace-spin combination of Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine. The spinner has eight wickets to his name in the three games but it is his economy of 2.98 that is most striking. How Australia handle him will be a huge factor affecting the game, and in turn the series.
The West Indies v Australia 4th ODI will begin from 1.30 pm GMT on March 23.