As widely predicted, Australia go into the final test in Dominica with an unassailable lead in this three match series but with the West Indies retaining a chance of levelling affairs at 1-1, this is by no means a dead rubber. Australian coach Mickey Arthur has therefore vowed that they will ‘go for the jugular’ in the final game and that is likely to spell bad news for the hosts.
To be fair to Darren Sammy and his men, they could have won both of the opening tests having matched Australia for much of the first match before finally succumbing by three wickets in a tense Australian run chase. In the second game in Trinidad, a generous declaration by Michael Clarke and a good start by the Windies openers looked to be steering the match their way, before rain, that had plagued the test throughout, intervened once again.
The second test was punctuated by rain breaks to such an extent that we didn’t learn too much about these sides that can give us any indication as to where our money should be placed today. Once again however, the West Indies showed that they have to bat around Shivnarine Chanderpaul and at the risk of repeating myself over and over again, Shiv’s is the key wicket for Australia. Get him early and the rest of the batting should inevitably fold.
The West Indies are priced at 5.50 to win the game and that is frustratingly good value in an event where there are only three possible outcomes from a betting point of view. Sadly, frustration has been synonymous with Windies cricket for the last ten years or so.
Australia do not possess the most potent bowling attack in world cricket by any means and even without Chanderpaul, the home side have the talent to compile the 400+ first innings scores that are needed to compete at this level. What they lack however, is the discipline.
I bring to the stand my first accused, Darren Julius Garvey Sammy. As the West Indies captain you would hope that he would show a little patience in front of his troops and therefore lead by example. However, after walking to the wicket with his side on 231-6 in Trinidad, he stepped down the wicket to his second ball and gave long on some catching practice.
There are various other example of indiscipline but Sammy’s was the most heinous. The skipper could have guided his team to a handy first innings lead but as it was, they capitulated to 257 all out, 54 behind Australia and had the game not been weather affected, the visitors should have won comfortably.
Team news ahead of the game is mixed for both sides. Australia will be without Peter Siddle and James Pattinson who have both flown home with back injuries. That will see a return to the side for Ryan Harris while paceman Mitchell Starc could come in for spinner Michael Beer.
As for the West Indies, the uncapped Assad Fudadin is likely to come in for the Kirk Edwards while Ravi Rampaul is standing by for Fidel Edwards who is also struggling with a soreback.
There has only been one previous test at this ground in Dominica and that, like the games in this year’s domestic competition was a low scoring affair. In fact, only one side has passed 300 in first class cricket here this season and that would suggest that the draw at odds of 3.25 won’t come into play unless rain returns once again.
I would love to tell you to take the West Indies at that generous price of 5.50 but I just don’t see it because they are still lacking that crucial discipline. As for Australia, when they say they are going for the kill they mean it – unlike some other sides around the world.
Best Bet: Australia to win at 1.75.