The World Champions, Australia is set to resume their international journey towards the next World Cup with a tour to the Caribbean. The Frank Worrell Trophy, between Australia and West Indies will be played as a two test match series for the first time since 1960-61. And with the Ashes starting in just over a month, the Australian side would be aiming to give their best in the series.
The 1st test in the Frank Worrell Trophy will start on Wednesday, the 3rd of June. It will be played in the Windsor Park in Roseau, Dominica. The match will start at 10:00 am local time (14:00 GMT).
The weather for the first test is forecasted to be sunny with no real chances of a shower giving the teams all of the 5 days to churn out a result.
West Indies have not defeated Australia in the Frank Worrell trophy for over 20 years and have not beaten Australia in a test series since 1992-93, when they were a force in international cricket. The last time they drew a series against the mighty Australians was in the 98-99 series where they drew 2-2.
With history behind them, and form to show for it with a World Cup victory, Australia may prove to be too good for a West Indian side that is starting to perform to its potential during a 1-1 series draw against England not long ago.
Having not lost a single Frank Worrell trophy’s in the last six attempts, Australia would love to ride on the momentum of being crowned the World Champions and would be waiting to prove that they are Champions in test cricket as well.
This gives the West Indians a great chance to upset the mentality of the Australians before the Ashes and if West Indies can grind out a result in this series, it would go a long way in proving that they are not just a team which is good at limited over cricket.
If West Indies can produce the form they showed against England, Australia will have its work cut out and will have to work hard to get anything from the series as they are playing away from home.
Expected Playing line-ups
Chanderpaul will be the biggest name missing in the squad to face Australia in the home series. Here is how the West Indies team may look like
Denesh Ramdin (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Shannon Gabriel, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo.
With Chris Rogers having to sit out due to a head injury, the Australian side may look like this
Michael Clarke (Captain), Mitchell Starc, Brad Haddin(wk), Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh.
Though the West Indies have managed a 1-1 series draw against England with almost the same team (Chanderpaul misses out), it may not be easy for them to produce the same result against the World Champions.
However, playing at home and with the support of thousands of fans, West Indies may prove to be hard to beat. Australia will have to perform at their best to get a result in the series as West Indies are looking more and more like a team with growing confidence that can challenge any team in the world.
This will make the series an interesting one but Australia, with the form in which their players are, might just have the edge over the West Indies players.
The Australian team could not have asked for a better series before the Ashes. They will not have to toil as hard as they would have against the likes of South Africa or India. The Australians will see this tour as an opportunity to gain form before meeting England in England.
With the growing confidence in the West Indian ranks, the job in hand will not be easy for Australia and they may be in danger of losing confidence before the Ashes if they falter in this series.
All-in-all, the series promises to be a great one with two sides who never give up, playing for an age old price, The Frank Worrell trophy.