The Australian team for the 4th Test beginning on Jan 23 in Adelaide is:
Boon, Taylor, M.Waugh, Martyn, S.Waugh, Border, Dodemaide, Healy, Hughes,
Warne, McDermott, May (probable 12th).
The batting order, is of course my own. Dodemaide and May have replaced the
injured Whitney and Matthews. Personally, I find May's selection
surprising. He has had mixed form in the OD games, but more relevant, he
has not taken a large haul of wickets in a first class match for several
seasons, I think. Also it seems obvious that Warne will play in Adelaide and
I can't believe that Australia will play 2 spinners on the Adelaide Oval.
It is a mystifying selection!
I would have selected Reiffel and Jo Angel ahead of Dodemaide and May.
Adelaide is usually more receptive to seam bowlers than swing bowlers
and that is my justification, along with the virtues of youth.
The West Indies team will also be very interesting. I feel sure that they
will revert to playing 4 fast bowlers in this test, since they are most
comfortable with this line-up and because they must win in order to win the
series. It seems clear to me that Patterson will return for the 4th test,
he's been smouldering on the sidelines long enough now, and neither
Benjamin or Cummins offer the fire power to warrant playing the extra
This of course means that they must drop one batsmen from the 3rd Test, but
I'd speculate that they will probably drop two in order to make way for the
re-inclusion of Gus Logie, who I believe can add the stability they need in
their middle order batting. The candidates to be axed are: Simmons, Haynes,
and Hooper. Simmons really should go. He has failed in all but 2(?) of the
international matches and just doesn't seem suited to opening in test
cricket. Although I applaud his approach to cricket I think he is more
likely to succeed down the order, and should be dropped at this stage.
On form, Haynes should also be dropped, but he has such a good record it is
of course worth counting on his imminent return to form. Therefore, Hooper
must also go. They will miss his spin bowling, but after all Adams can roll
his arm over. Incidentally, Hooper's bowling, which was so good in the
First Test, was quite poor in the latter tests. Much of this could be
attributed to the terrible "Viv Richards" like field placings that were set
for him. Although I am impressed with Richie Richardson's leadership in
many ways, his captaincy in the last 2 tests was enigmatic.
If Simmons is dropped, this means that Richardson must open, a regrettable
option but one that must be taken if the Windies are to get off to some
solid starts, and it will highlight the selectors' folly in not bringing
another regular opener. Junior Murray should retain his place, though he
also missed a straight forward stumping in Sydney, but he'll be
comfortable against the all pace attack.
So the West Indian team would be:
Haynes, Richardson, Lara, Arthurton, Logie, Adams, Murray, Bishop, Ambrose,
Walsh, Patterson, Hooper (12th).
This will be another close match, but I believe it is likely to be either a
West Indian win or a draw.
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