West Indies vs Australia, 1st T20I Preview & Predictions

  • West Indies lost the recent T20I series against South Africa 2-3.
  • Australia are missing key players and have a second-string team
  • West Indies’ power hitters could be the difference between the teams

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West Indies vs Australia Odds

Team Odds
West Indies 2.10
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Australia 1.72
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West Indies vs Australia Prediction and Pick

West Indies might not be going through the best of phases, but in terms of quality on paper, they are certainly ahead of the Aussies. They have almost all their T20 superstars at their disposal, while Australia will be forced to field a weakened XI. Besides this, the home conditions will also favour the men from the Caribbean.

Predicted XI

West Indies: Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Dwayne Bravo, Obed McCoy, Fidel Edwards

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, Mitch

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How to Watch West Indies vs Australia

West Indies v Australia, 1st T20I Information
Teams West Indies v Australia
Location Gros Islet, St Lucia
Time Saturday, July 10 at 05:00 AM IST/11:30 PM GMT
How to watch BT Sport, ESPN+, Fancode

Are West Indies Really Favourites?

West Indies will take on Australia in a five-match T20I series, which will be followed by a three-match ODI series. The first T20I series is scheduled to be played on 9th July, Friday, at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.

The general assumption is that West Indies are the dominating force in T20I cricket, which they certainly once were, but in recent times, they have not been as intimidating as they used to be. Despite having the vastly experienced trio of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, the men from Caribbean struggled against South Africa in their last T20I series.

Windies had multiple factors working in their favour in that series. They fielded the strongest team that they could have assembled, and the games were played on their home soil. Yet, they lost.

With a few renowned names called back for this series, West Indies will be hoping to put up a much better show. The reigning champions of ICC T20 World Cup are currently placed ninth in the ICC T20I rankings, behind Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Kieron Pollard’s men will be desperate to find their mojo back, with the World Cup knocking on the door.

Australia’s story is not very different from their opposition’s. They too have struggled in the shortest format of the game, as they suffered a 2-3 defeat in their last series against New Zealand. Prior to that, they were defeated by India in their backyard.

Aaron Finch’s men will play a total of 10 T20I matches over the next couple of months or so, with a tour to Bangladesh coming up next. For them, getting acclimatized to the conditions will be extremely crucial, as the surfaces are likely to be spin-friendly in both West Indies and Bangladesh.

There are several new faces in the Australian setup. The top performers of the Big Bash League have been rewarded for their consistency with a place in the national team, but the onus is now on the players to not only justify their selection, but also nail their place in the team for the T20 World Cup.

Team News

Despite the series against South Africa not going as planned, West Indies have not made any changes to their squad. While they have fielded the same team, there might be a few tweaks in the playing XI, since Fabian Allen suffered an injury in the last series, and subsequently missed the fifth T20I.

The Australian selectors, unlike their West Indian counterparts, have been busy drafting the perfect squad for this tour. Steve Smith is currently nursing an injury, while a plethora of Australian players opted out of the West Indies and Bangladesh tour. Aaron Finch will be without the services of key players like Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, David Warner and Marcus Stoinis.

Predicted XI

West Indies: Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Dwayne Bravo, Obed McCoy, Fidel Edwards

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Riley Meredith, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Key Players

Aaron Finch: With numerous experienced players being unavailable, the responsibility will be on the shoulder of Aaron Finch to guide the inexperienced Australian squad. He had a good time in his last T20I series against New Zealand. With 197 runs in 5 matches, he was Australia’s highest run-getter, and the second-highest overall. He will try to replicate that in this series.

Evin Lewis: While West Indies are known for their intimidating batting unit, one of the main reasons behind their failure in the series against South Africa was their batting collapse. Evin Lewis was the only West Indian batter who crossed the 100-run mark in that series. The opening batsman scored 178 runs and was the second-highest run-scorer of the series.

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Rohit Sankar

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Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]