After a long break, Test cricket is back in the scenario as Australia is all set to host West Indies for a two-match Test series starting November 30. The first Test will be played at the Optus Stadium in Perth. While West Indies received ample time to prepare for the series, plenty of Australian players will be entering the game on the back of a hectic schedule.
Australia currently enjoys the top position in the ICC World Test Championship rankings, and a victory in the upcoming series would take them closer to reserving the finals berth. On the other hand, West Indies are placed sixth in the rankings, and it is a tough challenge for them as Australia and South Africa have an upper hand over all other teams.
Australia have a great record at home, and their batting unit for the first Test looks very strong. David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, and Steve Smith have been in great touch of late, which will act like brownie points for the hosts. Australia suffered a dismal defeat in their previous Test match, which happened in Galle against Sri Lanka in July.
But they will be looking to get back on the winning path. The visitors, on the other hand, are backed with a massive 10-wicket win that came against Bangladesh in June. Australia and West Indies last crossed paths in January 2016 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and the game ended in a draw but the two teams would be looking for a result in their favor this time around.
Pitch and Conditions
Perth will host the opening Test. Being one of the fastest tracks, the pitch here benefits the fast bowlers. While the bounce and carry will be delightful for the batters, they will have to be cautious in the first session. The Optus Stadium has hosted just two Test matches and thus the average first innings score is 371 runs. The highest-ever total recorded at this venue is 416 runs, by Australia.
Playing XIs for AUS vs WI 1st Test
Australia skipper Pat Cummins confirmed the playing XI while addressing the media ahead of the first Test. Australia made just one change to their playing XI as compared to their last played game against Sri Lanka, as they brought back Josh Hazelwood. Hazelwood completed Australia’s pace attack alongside Cummins and Mitchell Starc while Nathan Lyon leads the spin department.
Playing XI– David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
West Indies are currently in a transition period as they have been through a lot, as a team, across all formats. After an abysmal T20 World Cup outing, the Caribbean side would be looking to make an emphatic return to international cricket. Their Test unit looks strong, but they will have a lot on their plate when they face the high-flying Australian side.
Probable Playing XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Shamrah Brooks, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales
AUS vs WI Head-to-Head in Tests
Played- 116 | Australia- 58 | West Indies- 32 | Draw – 25 | Tied- 01
AUS vs WI Broadcast Details
Match Timings- 9.30 AM IST, 2:30 PM LOCAL
Live Broadcast- Sony Sports Network
Live Streaming – SonyLIV App (Paid Subscription)
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