WI Hope for Shock Against Unpredictable Aussies

Recent battles for the Frank Worrell Trophy might suggest that anything but an Australian victory in the forthcoming three-match series is a virtual impossibility.   A West Indian captain last lifted the trophy in February 1993, with Australia winning seven of the last eight series and drawing the other.  Since the turn of the millennium, the match aggregate weighs 15-1 in the Aussies’ favour.

This series, which starts on 7 April in Barbados, has a different feel to it, however.  Though Australia currently lie second in the Test Cricket League, their recent form has been somewhat erratic.  A team very much in transitition has shown flashes of brilliance, for instance during their recent 4-0 drubbing of India, as well as alarming moments of fragility, exemplified by closely fought draws against Pakistan and New Zealand as well as their humbling Ashes defeat.

West Indies have been perennial occupants of the table’s bottom reaches for several years now, but have cause for optimism through the emergence of exciting left-hander Darren Bravo, promising leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and the genuinely quick paceman Kemar Roach.  The ever-productive Shivnarine Chanderpaul also adds much-needed strength to the batting line-up.

Retention of the Frank Worrell Trophy will see the tourists continue to apply pressure to top-of-the-table South Africa.  An unthinkable loss, however, will result in once more dropping below the Auld Enemy England and slipping further away from a reunion with the Champions’ Mace.

Such is the West Indies’ lowly current position, a series win would see Darren Sammy’s men rise by only one place in the table to seventh.  Yet, the huge confidence boost provided by such a high-profile victory would surely provide vital momentum for further movement up the League.  It remains to be seen whether the West Indies can make home advantage count in this intriguing contest.

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