Having registered a comprehensive win in their World Twenty20 opener, Australia would aim to seal a Super Eight berth when they take on the flamboyant West Indies in a Group B encounter at the R Premadasa Stadium.
However, it won’t be an easy task for George Bailey’s boys as they are up against a formidable Caribbean side which boasts of big-hitting Chris Gayle and mystery spinner Sunil Narine in their ranks.
Led by Shane Watson’s heroics, with both bat and ball, Australia made easy work of an unpredictable Irish side as they cruised to an easy win in the campaign-opener. But come Saturday, the contest is definitely going to be more intense.
The Darren Sammy-led West Indian side has got enough arsenal in its armoury to derail any side.
However, the West Indian batsmen had failed to impress during their first warm-up game against Sri Lanka, in the absence of Gayle, and were scratchy in the second warm-up match against a resilient Afghan side, barring the Jamaican giant.
But that in no way gives Aussies the license to take them lightly.
West Indies’ prowess in the shortest format of the game is well known and Australia would undermine them at their own peril.
The Kangaroos, however, can take some heart from their recent performance against the Caribbeans.
They won comprehensively against Sammy’s boys in one of the two T20 games during their recent visit and came close to snatching the second one, losing by just 14 runs.
Australia can be in with a chance in tomorrow’s game as well if their bowlers manage to get the better of West Indies’ unsettled opening pair, which really has looked to be the soft belly of Sammy’s brigade.
Their discomfort against quality spin bowling is the other aspect which Bailey and Co. might try to exploit and with Xavier Doherty expected to be back for the game against the Calypso Charmers, Australia may well field two spinners tomorrow.
Veteran chinaman bowler, Brad Hogg, would be the other tweaker in the line-up.
The Australian batting looked good against Ireland and with Cameron White spending some time in the middle, they can boast of a formidable middle-order.
However, they will certainly come under scanner against Narine, who was recently adjudged the ICC Emerging Player of the Year for 2012.
Although the spinner has been ineffective against the Aussies on previous two meetings but that doesn’t lessen his aura.
Australia will also have to be on guard against speedster Fidel Edwards who can surprise the batsman with his pace and has the ability to bowl in the block hole with some consistency.
With the likes of Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russel, apart from Marlon Samuels and Ravi Rampaul expected to take the command against Australia, West Indies can certainly look to live upto the favourites tag. (PTI)
Australia (Probable): David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, George Bailey (c), Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Matthew Wade (wk), Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc.
West Indies (Probable): Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo.