On Friday, the West Indies will play Australia in the first of five Twenty20 Internationals at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia. The match will start at 7:30 p.m. local time and 5:00 a.m. in India Standard Time (July 10).
The series will be crucial for both teams as they prepare for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the UAE and Oman later this year. While the West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to win the tournament more than once, Australia has yet to win the 20-over World Cup.
Seven of Australia’s main players – Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, and Kane Richardson – withdrew out of the West Indies and Bangladesh trips ahead of the tour.
However, Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch defended the guys chosen to do the job ahead of the series. According to Finch, this is an excellent opportunity for cricketers to qualify for the T20 World Cup. He’d stated:
“I suppose it will give the guys on this trip a chance to almost take their [World Cup] berths. The beautiful thing about Australian cricket right now is that the players who are performing exceptionally well in the BBL and domestic cricket are receiving opportunities. You must use the current form. I anticipate these conditions will be quite similar to those we encounter in the T20 World Cup, with St Lucia being heavily utilised and Bangladesh being akin to India or the UAE, depending on where it lands.”
The West Indies are still as unpredictable as they’ve always been. They were considered favorites against South Africa, who did not have much confidence coming to the Caribbean, yet they won the five-match T20I series 3-2. The Aussies, on the other hand, have no cause to underestimate the Windies.
The captains face-off in St. Lucia ahead of the start of the CG Insurance T20I Series against Australia!— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) July 8, 2021
What is your prediction for this 5-match series? #MissionMaroon #WIvAUS 🏏🌴 pic.twitter.com/MqKRzTmiEO
Who will win the first T20I match between West Indies and Australia in St Lucia?
The West Indies got off to a strong start in the series against South Africa, winning the first T20I by eight wickets. They lost the last match by 25 runs, failing to chase down a total of 169.
In the series against the Proteas, the West Indies’ inconsistency was exposed once more. With 178 runs in five matches with a strike rate of over 160, Evin Lewis was the leading run-scorer for the hosts against South Africa. The others, on the other hand, didn’t have anything to offer.
Nicholas Pooran is still attempting to reclaim his former form. In the series, he only managed 72 runs at a strike rate of sub 106. Lendl Simmons led the team with 72 runs in three games, while Chris Gayle was a huge disappointment with 56 runs in four games.
Big-hitters like Kieran Pollard and Andre Russell struggled to maintain consistency, despite flashes of brilliance. Dwayne Bravo led the bowling attack with ten wickets, while Obed McCoy collected nine. The bowling of the West Indies should make them happy.
Despite the absence of certain well-known players, Australia will be quietly confident in its ability to do well. Their batsmen performed admirably in intra-squad matches. Josh Phillippe, Mathew Wade, and Moises Henriques were among the players who made the most of their opportunities.
Josh Philippe explains the theory behind his very inventive 'switch pull'! pic.twitter.com/Q9ePOVu5Um— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 8, 2021
Slow bowlers like Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, as well as the manner the West Indies struggled against South Africa’s spinners, might be crucial to Australia’s hopes on the slow grounds.
The first T20I between Australia and the West Indies will be won by Australia.