West Indies v Australia
Saturday 24 July, 19:30
TV: live on BT Sport
West Indies will be bitterly disappointed at the manner of defeat in the first ODI. They were smashed by 133 runs as their batting spectacularly imploded.
Against a second-choice Australia batting line-up at least, such a hammering looked inconceivable. Yet consistent runmaking has hardly been a strength for West Indies and shorn of their best player in Shai Hope, who was injured, they wilted.
Hope, however, returns to the XI> The intitial staging of this game was postponed on Thursday due to a positive Covid outbreak. But it goes ahead three days later. That should aid Hope's recovery.
Australia will bat first and both teams have named their XIs. And both the copin toss and selection must be adhered to.
West Indies XI Hope, Lewis, Bravo, Mohammed, Pooran, Pollard, Holder, Joseph, Walsh, Hosein, Cottrell
What did Australia learn?
Australia will no doubt feel very pleased with themselves for their crushing success. But what did they learn? Mitchell Starc, with five wickets, is an absolute gun? Well, we knew that.
As the series progresses they will hope to garner a bit more. Are Josh Philippe and Ben McDermott, their makeshift opening pair, cut out for international cricket? Is it time to call a halt to the Moises Henriques experiment?
What is becoming clear is that Ashton Turner is a superb finisher. He was impressive, striking at 108 in a match-turning partnership with Alex Carey. Carey leads the side in the absence of the injured Aaron Finch and will be hoping to nail down a spot.
Wes Agar has been dropped for Riley Meredith which seems extremely harsh. Remember, there is no David Warner, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne or Glenn Maxwell.
Australia XI McDermott, Philippe, Marsh, Henriques, Carey, Turner, Wade, Starc, Meredith, Zampa, Hazlewood
Australia's 252 was sub-par for the Kensington Oval but not altogether unsurprising. It is in their make-up to struggle against spin and with Walsh going at 3.90 per over they came up short in that regard. We won't be playing Sportsbook's 13/8 that Australia go over 271.5.
Given that trend we're not inclined to start going over on the runs line either. Instead shorting is the way ahead.
With Australia batting first it might be shrewd to start going under when the spinners start doing their work in tandem.
Windies need a foothold
Australia have shortened up to 1.654/6 with West Indies 2.486/4. We're very glum about the home side who looked passive with the bat as Starc ran in to them.
The problem is we don't think Australia should be anywhere near as short with the batting they have and the issues which Walsh and Hosein cause them.
The solution is to look for a trade on the home team. They may not be capable of repelling the Aussie attack for a win but they should be at least capable of a foothold in a chase. And at such a big starting price they also have enough in their on-field armoury to get us some wiggle room.
Hope is boosted by Sportsbook to 7/2.Opening partner Evin Lewis is 7/2. We note Jason Holder's price at 14/1 and will keep an eye on that in-play, having a nibble when, or if, it doubles.
For Australia, Philippe and McDermoot look pricey at 7/2 respectively. Turner is 10/1.
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