BRIDGETOWN: Australia aim to extend their 19-year grip on the Frank Worrell Trophy and pile on the agony for West Indies as the first Test between the two sides starts today.
Since they last hosted Australia four years ago, the West Indies have won only three of the 30 Tests as they try to rebuild their team. Those three victories have been enough to produce series wins over England and, more recently, in Bangladesh, their first victory away since 2003. Meanwhile, Australia are on a high having had a 4-0 cleansweep over India in January.
They have not lost a Test series since the Ashes defeat in January 2011 that led to significant changes in their structure and approach to the game. It also saw a change to the playing organisation with Michael Clarke taking over from Ricky Ponting as captain and South African Mickey Arthur installed as coach.
“As a group we can take a lot of confidence out of beating India 4-0 but conditions are a lot different here,” said Clarke. “The hardest part of playing international sport is beating teams away from home in conditions that you’re not as used to.”
WI look to continue limited-overs form
Despite their woeful recent Test record, there are signs that the West Indies may be closing the gap.
They played well in both the recent Twenty20 and One-Day International (ODI) series with neither team getting the upper hand as both series were tied.
“For me getting the guys to gel and to execute the team plan is what matters and that’s how we’ll get the desired results,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy who believes that attitude was important in the recent performances in the ODIs and Twenty20s. “The fact that we could go out on the field and look like a unit and that ‘never-say-die’ attitude shows that the team is improving.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2012.