Australia beat the West Indies by three wickets in a gripping T20 international on Wednesday and will be out to make it 2-0 when the two sides clash again on Friday.
Wednesday’s clash went right to the wire and the Australians can think themselves lucky for coming out on top in a game that went to the very last ball.
It really shouldn’t have got that far as poor fielding by the West Indies let the Aussies off the hook on more than one occasion in the final over.
They put down a couple of crucial catches and it was left to Mitchell Starc to hit the winnings runs off the final ball to earn the home side the win.
Now all eyes turn to the second match and Australia will be targeting a more convincing win this time, while of course the West Indies will be out for revenge.
So let’s take a look ahead to the second T20 international of the week.
What: Australia v West Indies
Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
When: 18:10 (AEST) Friday 7th October 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Australia 1/4, West Indies 3/1
Australia sprung a huge surprise in the first match on Wednesday when they opted to push Cameron Green up the batting order to open with David Warner.
That meant captain Aaron Finch batting further down the order at four. And while it may have paid off, the decision left supporters and pundits alike, baffled.
Finch has been struggling for form with the bat but was back to his best as his 58 runs from 53 balls helped to get Australia over the line.
So that was the positive. However it was a strange decision considering Green is not even in the T20 World Cup squad and will play no part unless there is an injury to another player and he is called up.
So why make such a big move and let him open the batting when he will not be at the World Cup?
Former Aussie great Mark Waugh admitted that he was surprised by the decision.
“The thing is he’s not in the World Cup squad, so if you’re preparing for the World Cup why would you open with him?” Waugh said on Fox Cricket.
“Wouldn’t Aaron Finch be opening the batting if you were preparing for the World Cup, so I find it a little confusing.”
Now everyone will be waiting to see if the Australian selectors decide to open again with Green and Warner.
Steve Smith was also left out of the first match which has put a huge question mark over his place in the side.
Tim David was preferred instead, and although he made a duck, it has been suggested he will keep his place in the side and Smith will miss out once again.
Elsewhere Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar are still recovering from injury and will not be risked. However it is thought they will be fit and ready by the time the T20 World Cup gets underway later this month.
Indeed Stoinis, who is working his way back in Perth, says he will be good to go if selected for the T20 clash with England in the west this weekend.
“I had a good solid bowl yesterday and our physio Nick Jones is over here as well so he ticked that off and everyone is pretty happy,” Stoinis told reporters.
Mitch Marsh played the first game but did not bowl as the Aussies again play it safe with the all-rounder who has had his injury issues.
Australia probable David Warner, Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch (c), Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
The West Indies disappointed with the bat in particular in the first match when making just 145 runs for the loss of nine wickets off their 20 overs.
However they look set to stick with the same side at the Gabba. Kyle Mayers was the stand-out performer for the West Indies.
The opening batsman made 39 runs off 36 balls that included one unbelievable six and they will need another big performance from him on Friday.
West Indies probable: Brandon King, Johnson Charles (wk), Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran (c), Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Odean Smith, Raymon Reifer, Yannic Cariah, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell.