The third ODI between Australia and West Indies was completed well inside the length of a T20, but now that format comes properly into view as the two teams switch their focus to building up to the World Cup in June.
Australia have six matches in the next three weeks, with another set of games against New Zealand after this series, but for West Indies this could be their last outing before having to settle on a World Cup squad. However, their T20I side is the most settled of the three formats for them and they beat England 3-2 in December (which followed a 3-2 win over India) with a squad very similar to the one touring Australia which suggests there aren’t too many holes to fill.
Australia’s World Cup questions
The final question might be who takes the keeping gloves. Inglis and Wade are both in the upcoming squads. Wade will do so in the opening match against West Indies and is still viewed as a strong option for the middle-order finishing role he did so well in 2021, but Inglis has shown his versatility around the order in white-ball cricket and could play as a specialist batter.
West Indies’ big guns are back
Russell returned to the T20I stage against England in December for the first time since the 2021 World Cup in the UAE having been headhunted by new white-ball coach Daren Sammy. He responded with a player of the match display in his first outing then indicated this year’s World Cup will mark the end of his international career (or maybe not).
“I still have a lot left in the tank,” he said. “But, you know, based on discussions with the coach, I told him that after the World Cup I would walk away from international cricket, but if they need me, I will come out of retirement.”
He is bringing some encouraging form to Australia having made 192 runs at a strike-rate of 228.57 in the ILT20. Pooran, meanwhile, left the tournament as the highest run-scorer with 261 at a strike-rate of 170.58 while Johnson Charles was also consistent.
Australia Mitchell Marsh (capt), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
West Indies Rovman Powell (capt), Shai Hope, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas