Yesterday saw the first day of the two-match cricket series between Australia and the West Indies. The match also marks the 50th test the two sides have faced each other in the Caribbean. West Indian test cricket veteran captain, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, will not be seen playing and captaining the West Indies cricket team as the 40 year old was not chosen by the selectors. Since January 1, 2000, The West Indies side have played just 25 tests without Chanderpaul. They have won just one of those tests, against Sri Lanka in Kingston in 2003. The West Indies will be looking to start their new era without Chanderpaul by winning their first test series against Australia in 12 years.
After the first day, Michael Clarke’s Australian side showed cricket fans around the world that they haven’t gathered any rust in the bowling and fielding aspect of the game as they hadn’t played an international test game since January, bowling the West Indies team all out for a mere 148 runs in the first innings.
Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson both showed their impressive form with the ball yesterday as both pacemen punished the West Indian top order batsmen and bagged three wickets each. Mitch Johnson needs only six wickets to overtake his bowling coach, Craig McDermott (291 Test wickets) and jump into fifth place on Australia’s list of leading Test wicket-takers. With 1,868 runs, Mitch is just 132 runs away from being the third Australian (after Richie Benaud and Shane Warne) to complete the 200 wickets – 2,000 runs double. The Australian fielders showed an amazing amount of skill, athleticism and anticipation as they snared a few very important superb catches which could’ve been candidates on a classic catches segment. It was these clinical half chance moments which allowed Australia to dismiss the West Indies within two sessions.
The West Indies batsmen looked unimpressive as they weren’t able to capitalise and produced a poor scorecard with Shai Hope scoring the most runs with 36 to his name and only one other of his teammates reached 20, Jason Holder with 21.
Day 2 of the first test match will see Australia looking to back up their impressive bowling and fielding performance with a solid innings with the bat. With openers David Warner and Shaun Marsh and Captain Michael Clarke already dismissed for a total of 83, they’ll first be turning to Steve Smith and AdamVoges to make up for Australia’s poor start with the bat. Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson are still waiting to face and are very capable of putting a big score against any bowling attack.
The winner of the two sides in the series will lift the coveted Frank Worrell Trophy which is named after the former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell, the trophy was first awarded at the end of the 1960-61 series. The trophy’s design incorporated a ball used in the first ever Tied cricket test in 1960 which was between Australia and the West Indies. Along with The Ashes urn, the Frank Worrell Trophy is considered to be one of the most respected trophies in the world of cricket.