Not that it’s that familiar to some of the West Indians either: the veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul has played only one first-class game there. West Indies do have a Dominican player in their side, the spinner Shane Shillingford, and he should play a key role having been preferred to Devendra Bishoo, who has been released from the squad.
West Indies might have lost the chance to regain the trophy but they can take encouragement from the Test in Trinidad, where they looked like making a real go of their chase of 215 on the final day until the weather intervened. They also dominated the first three days of the series in Barbados, so while Australia will enter the match as favourites, a 1-1 series draw is far from out of the question.
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West Indies DLDLL
In the spotlight
Darren Sammy has made contributions throughout the Test series – in fact, throughout Australia’s entire tour – but this would be the perfect time for him to play a match-winning role. In Barbados, he removed Australia’s openers and made a handy 41 himself in the first innings and in Trinidad he showed a willingness to promote himself up the order when the situation demanded it. If he can combine a fast-paced innings of substance with a few wickets, he will be one step closer to ending his first Frank Worrell Trophy series as captain on a high.
Australia’s Test-only players have a six-month break after this match and as one of the few in that category,Ed Cowan would feel much better over the winter if he was coming off a big Test innings. Cowan has now walked out to bat ten times for Australia and has two half-centuries to show for it, but no hundreds. His contributions in this series – 14, 34, 28 and 20 – have not been failures but nor have they cemented his place in the side. The same could be said of his partner David Warner on this trip, but Warner already has two Test centuries to his name. At some stage, Cowan will need to take that next step as well.
Fidel Edwards finished the Trinidad Test with what the captain Sammy described as “a slight niggle” and he could be replaced by Ravi Rampaul. Bishoo has been released from the squad, so there is no chance of West Indies picking two spinners. The Guyana batsman Assad Fudadin has joined the squad but is unlikely to find a place in the starting line-up.
West Indies (possible) : 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Kraigg Brathwaite, 3 Kieran Powell, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Carlton Baugh (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Shane Shillingford, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Ravi Rampaul.
Injuries have forced Peter Siddle and James Pattinson to head home, which will mean a return for Ryan Harris after he was rested following his Man-of-the-Match performance in the first Test in Barbados. Michael Beer bowled well in Trinidad but is expected only to hold his position if the Windsor Park pitch looks especially spin-friendly. It appears more likely that the left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc will come in for his fourth Test.
Australia (possible): 1 Ed Cowan, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Ricky Ponting, 5 Michael Clarke (capt), 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Ryan Harris, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Nathan Lyon.
Pitch and conditions
Windsor Park is still in its international infancy. In its first Test, between West Indies and India last year, only a third of the wickets fell to spin. In the two four-day matches played at the venue during the domestic competition that has just finished, no team managed 300 in an innings. The forecast suggests there could be showers throughout the Test.
Stats and trivia
- Shivnarine Chanderpaul needs 82 runs to reach 10,000 in Tests
- Should West Indies win, it will be the first time since 1999 a Test series between the two sides has not been won by Australia
- Kemar Roach’s ten-wicket haul in Trinidad was the first time a West Indies bowler had achieved the feat in a Test since Corey Collymore claimed 11 against Pakistan in Jamaica in 2005
“I’m pretty sure all the boys will want to make this Test a good one for themselves personally and for the team because we’ve had a really good summer, we want to finish on a high before we get stuck into one-day cricket and the Twenty20 World Cup.”
“When Australia came here everybody didn’t give us a chance, but we’ve played a brand of cricket that we want to get used to. That said we’ve still got to get the victories and that’s what we’re looking for. To level a series against Australia would be another stepping stone for us.”