Second Test – starts 10:00am local time on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
West Indies – $11.00 at LuxBet.com
Australia – $1.28 at William Hill
Draw – $5.50 at www.Bet365.com
IF there’s one thing we know for certain after the first Test in Dominica, it’s that both sides will be fresh for round two in Jamaica.
Australia ($1.28 at Crownbet.com) made short work of the West Indies in Roseau, taking just three days to clinch the Frank Worrell Trophy for the 10th series in succession.
Adam Voges was the hero for the visitors, rallying with an unbeaten 130 on debut to take the Aussies from 6/126 to 318 in the first innings.
Mitchell Starc (4/28), Josh Hazlewood (2/17), Mitchell Johnson (2/38) and Nathan Lyon (2/67) then skittled the hosts for 216 in the second innings to set up a meagre 47-run chase, which the Baggy Greens polished off in just five overs with nine wickets to spare.
It was an accomplished performance from Michael Clarke’s side, but not a faultless one by any measure.
The turning Windsor Park wicket posed plenty of problems when the slow bowlers came on – especially Devendra Bishoo, who claimed six scalps with his prodigious leg-spin in the first innings.
Shaun Marsh threw up more questions than answers with regards to Australia’s long-term options in the top order. His first innings dismissal summed up his international career to date – out for 19 after edging a Jason Holder delivery that should have been left well alone.
That means there is a slim chance Chris Rogers could reclaim his spot at Sabina Park, having sat out the first Test with concussion after taking a knock to the head in practice a few days prior.
None of the Aussie top four passed 30 in Jamaica, with the bulk of the runs coming through Voges and his tail-end stands with Johnson, Lyon and Hazlewood.
That stat was not lost on Australia coach Darren Lehmann when he spoke to the press late last week.
“That was a disappointing output [from the Australian batsmen]… we need our top six making runs,” the former Test and ODI player said.
“We know that, to perform how we want to perform in each Test match.
“The tail got us out of jail here and they’ve done that a bit in the past. The batters will be working hard to get it right.”
In the home camp, the West Indies ($11.00 at Bet365.com) will rue their inability to capitalise on some dominant spells with the ball in the hand.
The Caribbean collective found themselves in a strong position early on day two after the impressive Bishoo dismissed Steve Smith, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin cheaply in the first session.
But they couldn’t sustain the pressure and allowed Australia’s last four batsmen to add 81 runs alongside Voges, thus leaving themselves with a tricky 170-run deficit heading into the second innings.
A top order collapse was followed by firm resistance from Marlon Samuels and debutant Shane Dowrich, who each made patience 70s before they were caught out trying to break the shackles.
The Windies’ lower order couldn’t handle the pace and swing of Starc, who swept up the tail as Australia gave up only 18 runs for the last six wickets.
Denesh Ramdin admitted in the aftermath that he and his teammates would need to dig a lot deeper if they wished to turn the tide in Kingston.
“They are a very good unit and we need to play a lot tougher cricket when we are in positions of strength,” the West Indies captain told the press.
“It was a very difficult pitch to get a decent start. As we saw from Adam Voges once he got a start for Australia he carried on to get a big hundred for his team.”
Ramdin added that the Windies needed to move on from Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was unceremoniously dumped for this series, and praised the efforts of the young man who replaced him.
“That decision [about Chanderpaul] has been made. His experience is countless but we have to move on,” said the wicketkeeper.
“If Shane Dowrich could have carried on to get a hundred [in the second innings] it would have been brilliant.
“It’s something he can learn from. He stood up against one of the best bowling line-ups in the world. I’m sure he’s going to go from strength to strength.”
West Indies and Australia Test squads
West Indies: Denesh Ramdin (C), Shai Hope, Kraigg Braithwaite, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shane Dowrich, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Veerasammy Permaul, Rajindra Chandrika
Australia: Michael Clarke (C), David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Steven Smith, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Fawad Ahmed, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill
Match betting predictions
Result – Australia to win ($1.28 at WilliamHill.com)
Highest opening partnership – Australia ($1.63 at Sportsbet)
First innings lead – Australia ($1.27 at Crownbet.com)
Man of the Match – David Warner ($9.00 at www.Luxbet.com)
Australia ended up doing it easy in Dominica without having to bring their A-game. With much of the team now that little bit better adjusted after coming in off the IPL T20 season, who knows what they might do in Jamaica?
The Aussies are, understandably, short-priced favourites in most of the popular cricket markets at our leading online bookmakers. Opening partnership betting for the first innings is offering a little bit more juice than most, partly because the less-than-bankable Marsh is expected to keep his spot.
If you want some better money odds, though, you might want too look at exotics such as the man of the match market. Warner is our best bet; Sabina Park isn’t a big ground and the pitch is much, much tamer than it once was, so there should be plenty there for the Aussie opener if he gets his eye in.
First innings top scorer odds
West Indies – Shane Dowrich ($7.00 at www.Bet365.com): Charged with the tough ask of replacing the much-loved Shiv Chanderpaul, the young keeper-batsman was one of WI’s best performers in Roseau. He played well for his 70 in the second innings and, on that form, looks as good a bet as anyone else.
Australia – David Warner ($4.00 at Luxbet): The big-hitting lefty didn’t get much opportunity to stretch his legs at Windsor Park, besides a Twenty20-style cameo in that lightning run chase late on day three. Look for a big one from Warner here to take him into the Ashes on a high note.
WI vs AUS top bowler markets
West Indies – Devendra Bishoo ($4.50 at www.WilliamHill.com): The 29-year-old leggy starred in Dominica with 6/80 in Australia’s first innings. If the absolute jaffer he bowled Haddin with is anything to go by, Bishoo could be a real problem again if the Windies bat first in Jamaica.
Australia – Mitchell Starc ($4.00 at Bet365): The tall left-arm quick is vastly improved over the last year and shapes up as the most deadly of the Aussie speedsters. His ODI and T20 credentials make him a master at cleaning up the lower order, which he did with expert precision in the first Test.