Battle of the one-day also-rans
Battle of the one-day also-rans

A team that couldn't beat Sri Lanka at home will today take on a team that couldn't beat Bangladesh away.

Australia and the West Indies are two of international cricket's one-day also-rans, but they have a rich four-decade rivalry that transcends mere competition and are searching for a formula to regain glory.

Captain Michael Clarke identified a simple task for Australia at the WACA Ground today and over the next four one-dayers.

"We need to be more consistent than we were against Sri Lanka," Clarke said. "We were good in patches and on three of the pitches where the conditions were tough we really struggled.

"It will be quite tough here too because it looks like there is more grass on the wicket and both teams have good fast bowling, so the batting will be crucial."

Both teams are evenly matched.

They have each won 13 of their past 30 matches and shared the series in the Caribbean last year when there were two wins apiece either side of a tie.

And both have got an eye on the Champions Trophy in England in June that will provide a valuable dress rehearsal before the next World Cup, in 2015.

The West Indies are waiting for scans on Kieran Powell (leg) and Andre Russell (knee), who were injured during the match against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on Tuesday.

Russell is one of several West Indies hitters whose colleagues Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard have the advantage of having played in the Big Bash League this summer.

Paceman Kemar Roach and spinner Sunil Narine also took part in the tournament, giving captain Darren Sammy confidence that his charges would adjust quickly.

"It will be a massive help for us," Sammy said. "The experience they've got of playing here over the years will be passed on to the youngsters like Powell.

"You can never have too much information coming from the guys who have that experience."

Clarke and Australia's coach Mickey Arthur finalised the home team yesterday, with spinner Xavier Doherty and quick Ben Cutting left out of a 13-man squad.

Usman Khawaja arrived in Perth yesterday to replace injured David Warner (broken thumb) and will open or bat at No.3.

Clarke showed he had overcome hamstring and ankle injuries, but was in danger of becoming the second batsman injured in the nets when James Pattinson struck him a stinging blow in the ribs.

"I'm at full fitness," Clarke said.

"I've been doing all my running. I've had plenty of batting since I've been here, bowling and fielding."

Left-arm seamer James Faulk- ner will become Australia's 202nd one-dayer player and the 10th to make his debut in Perth when he joins Clint McKay, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc in Australia's potent pace attack.

Faulkner will also have some chance of redemption following his nightmare BBL semifinal last month when he bowled a no-ball in Melbourne Stars' final over to hand victory to Perth Scorchers.


  • Australia *: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Usman Khawaja.

  • West Indies *: Darren Sammy (capt), Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Devon Thomas, Tino Best, Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine (12th man to be named).

Play starts at 11.20am.

"We need to be more consistent than we were against Sri Lanka. We were good in patches …"" *Michael Clarke *

The West Australian

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