Australia take on West Indies in Abu Dhabi in the penultimate Group 1 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Qualification is at stake for Australia when they face West Indies in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
A win should be enough to see them into the semi-finals, as long as South Africa don’t beat England and pull off a big net run rate swing in the final Group 1 match later in the day.
But beating the eliminated West Indies is by no means a foregone conclusion for Aaron Finch and his side.
The two nations played a five-match T20I series back in the summer as they prepared for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, and it was West Indies who dominated those meetings, running out 4-1 series winners.
And the two-time Champions have nothing to lose in one final game of the tournament before heading home, with their fate in Group 1 already sealed following losses to England, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Saturday will also be an emotional moment for the West Indies squad, as they say goodbye to at least one legendary player, with Dwayne Bravo having already announced that it will be his final international match before retirement.
“I think the time has come,” Bravo said after the loss to Sri Lanka earlier in the week. “I’ve had a very good career. To represent the West Indies for 18 years, had some ups and downs, but as I look back at it I’m very grateful to represent the region and the Caribbean people for so long.
“One thing I am proud about is that the era of cricketers we had we were able to make a name for ourselves on the global stage and not only do that but have silverware to show for it.”
Australia have never won a T20 World Cup title, with a loss to England in the 2010 final the closest they have come.
But win in Abu Dhabi on Saturday and the current crop of Australian T20 stars will be just two wins from setting that record straight.
- The match: Australia v West Indies, Match 38
- Time: 14:00 local time, Saturday 6 November 2021
- Venue: Abu Dhabi
There could be rotation for West Indies in their final game of the tournament, although the opportunity to give their planned XI one more run out before key player(s) depart into retirement means an unchanged team isn’t out of the question.
The Australia selectors will consider bringing in Agar for Marsh as an extra spin option.
Probable Australia XI: Warner, Finch, Marsh, Smith, Maxwell, Stoinis, Wade, Cummins, Starc, Zampa, Hazlewood
Probable West Indies XI: Lewis, Gayle, Chase, Pooran, Hetmyer, Pollard, Russell, Holder, Bravo, Hosein, Rampaul
Evin Lewis, West Indies: The West Indies bat so deep that if they can get off to a good start then there’s little issue taking risks in the second half of their innings. It could be that one of Dwayne Bravo and Jason Holder comes in as low as nine, so a big start from the in-form and fast-scoring Lewis would set the West Indies up for a massive score.
Adam Zampa, Australia: The spinner has been an x-factor option in the tournament so far and took his first ever T20I five-wicket haul last time out. If West Indies go after him he’ll fancy his chances of bagging a few more big-name scalps in Abu Dhabi.
Captaincy pick – Adam Zampa: He has been the most consistent performer for Australia in the ongoing T20 World Cup having picked 10 wickets in 4 matches at an economy rate of 5.93. Zampa now has 23 wickets in 18 T20I matches played in 2021. Already struggling West Indies team have a tough task ahead as in-form Zampa will try to make the most out of the two paced Abu Dhabi pitch and that makes him the reliable captaincy pick of the match.
Must-have – Mitchell Marsh: The Aussie allrounder may not have performed well in the T20 World Cup so far but he has to be a must-have against the West Indies team in today’s encounter. In the recently concluded T20I series against the Carribean side, Marsh scored 219 runs at a strike rate of 152.08 in 5 T20I matches which included 5 fifty-plus scores.
West Indies are out, but Australia go into the final day in a strong position to reach the semi-finals. A win for the Aussies would leave South Africa needing to beat in-form England and by a sizeable margin to make up the NRR differential.
Australia start the day with a 0.289 advantage so even a defeat to the West Indies wouldn’t necessarily deny Aaron Finch’s side qualification, as long as South Africa also lose to England and there is no unlikely NRR swing.
What they said
Aaron Finch, Australia captain: “West Indies are such a dangerous side. We saw that when we played them. Obviously with them being out of the competition now they’ve got nothing to lose, which can also be a really dangerous spot.”
Dwayne Bravo, West Indies: “It wasn’t the World Cup we expected, it wasn’t the World Cup we wanted as players. We shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves, it was a tough competition, we should keep our heads high.”
(Source and courtesy: https://www.t20worldcup.com/news)