It would, however, be one of the bigger upsets if West Indies – who themselves have a number of injury concerns – were able to level the series. In a way, though, it’s about the strides they can make in a series such as this. “Stay in the fight as long as possible,” assistant coach Roddy Estwick said. Australia should win, and probably will, but West Indies can make it as tough as possible for them.
(Last five matches, most recent first)
West Indies LWWWD
In the spotlight
Even if Alzarri Joseph had not overstepped against Labuschagne it would not have been enough to change the game, but his spell on the fourth day did raise the question of what could have been, or what could be. He was said to be under the weather during an underwhelming first-innings display and that it would be unfair to judge him on that, so instead remember the pace and fire of his later spell. His career-best remains 3 for 33 but the belief in the team is that a breakthrough haul is close.
Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Travis Head, 6 Cameron Green, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Nathan Lyon, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Scott Boland
West Indies will wait until the morning of the game to give their injured players as much time as possible. Kemar Roach (hamstring) and Jayden Seales (knee) are both concerns, which means Marquino Mindley could debut 48 hours after arriving from Jamaica. Kyle Mayers won’t be able to bowl.
West Indies (possible) 1 Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), 2 Tagenarine Chanderpaul, 3 Shamarh Brooks, 4 Kyle Mayers, 5 Jermaine Blackwood, 6 Jason Holder, 7 Joshua Da Silva (wk), 8 Roston Chase, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Kemar Roach/Anderson Phillip, 11 Jayden Seales/Marquino Mindley
Pitch and conditions
It is expected to be a typical Adelaide day-night pitch. Curator Damien Hough said he had left the standard 8mm of grass on the surface. The cool, damp spring has made preparations tricky, so it remains to be seen how much pace is in the pitch – the drop-in was only put into place last week following a Guns N’ Roses concert. The forecast is set fair and the temperature will warm up on Saturday. “This surface offers a bit to everyone,” Smith said. “There’s a bit of seam, if you bat well you can score runs and it offers some spin. Looks no different this year to the last couple of years.”
“Bit more time to prepare for this game than last year. That was a bit chaotic. We are in a good place, played some good cricket last week, hopefully we can continue it here and continue our pink-ball form.”
Steven Smith on taking temporary charge again
“It’s very inspiring. For a long while we are close friends… he really came and showed that he had that hunger and determination to score that century. As a batting unit we have a lot to learn from that.”
Jermaine Blackwood on Kraigg Brathwaite
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
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