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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Australia v West Indies Test preview

The general consensus among MSM commentators is a cautious optimism that Australia should win the series, if not each of the three matches. Both teams will be at less than full strength because of injuries and other factors (read Marlon Samuels's suspension) but, without being too triumphalist about it, Australia still has a greater depth of talent.

At least batting talent. Simon Katich and Brad Hodge would be automatic selections in many other Test teams; Hodge has been cruelly if not downright shabbily treated by the Australian selectors. I hope that he's able to prove a point or two in the First Test, where Matthew Hayden's withdrawal has given him another chance.

If Australia has a weakness it may be in spin bowling, where IMO Stuart McGill needs to lift his game well above the standard he achieved during the home 2007 - 08 Australia - Sri Lanka series. He achieved a good return in the warm up match against the Jamaica Select XI, but so did Simon Katich.

Not that the Windies are known to possess top notch spinners, but in recent seasons they've relied more upon their quicker bowlers, admittedly with limited success.

While I'm looking forward to some late nights, or more accurately early mornings, watching the matches unfold on TV, I'm hoping that the West Indies will be able to find something extra to make the series competitive and justify my camping on the living room couch for the next few nights.
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