World-weary Aussies look to pile on Windies agony
Stand-in skipper Shane Watson believes Australia's recent successes over India and Sri Lanka will mask any world-weariness when they kick-off their Caribbean tour.cricket Updated: Mar 15, 2012 09:19 IST
Stand-in skipper Shane Watson believes Australia's recent successes over India and Sri Lanka will mask any world-weariness when they kick-off their Caribbean tour.
Australia tackle the West Indies in the first of five-dayers on Friday, with two Twenty20s and three Tests to follow on the seven-week tour -- a trip they set off on just 12 hours after their Tri-Nations win over Sri Lanka in Adelaide.
Watson, deputising for injured full-time captain Michael Clarke, insists his squad can impress, with younger players desperate to make their mark.
"It's a very exciting time in Australian cricket," Watson said.
"To think even 12 months ago that things were being said that the depth in Australian cricket might not be that good, to actually see the guys who are coming through."
Watson is keen to see how the likes of Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson and Peter Forrest perform in the Caribbean after making their mark on home wickets.
"James Pattinson has been brilliant, Nathan Lyon ... to see these guys come in and perform straight away is a very exciting thing," Watson told cricinfo.
"To actually know that we've got some great depth now and in the future with a few other guys still on their way back from injury and also some guys who will continue to improve in domestic cricket to put pressure on the more senior guys."
In contrast, West Indies have turned to their back catalogue in an effort to gain an edge, with 31-year-old fast bowler Tino Best recalled after more than two years on the sidelines.
Best last played international cricket in the 2009 Champions Trophy.
"I'm fully focussed. I am fully aware of what is expected of me and what is required by the team. I have worked extremely hard to get back into the team and I will continue to work hard to stay in the team," Best said.
In his most recent first-class appearance in February, Best took seven wickets for Barbados in their crushing win over Combined Campuses and Colleges and bagged six for 44 in a warm-up that followed.
Another player in form is big-hitting Kieron Pollard, who smashed 151 off 120 balls in a recent squad warm-up.
"I have been playing a lot of Twenty20 cricket, but when you practise, you do not practise Twenty20," Pollard said. "When you practise, you work on your technique and there are a number of things I have been working on."
West Indies are again without former skipper Chris Gayle, who has not played for the West Indies since last year's World Cup and has been involved in a long-running dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board.
March 16: 1st ODI, Kingstown, St Vincent
March 18: 2nd ODI, Kingstown, St Vincent
March 20: 3rd ODI, Kingstown, St Vincent
March 23: 4th ODI, Gros Islet, St Lucia
March 25: 5th ODI, Gros Islet, St Lucia