The West Indies haven't won an ODI in Australia since 1997. Photo: Tim Wimborne/Reuters
The West Indies may have surrendered the series with their 39 run loss to Australia in Canberra on Wednesday, but there is still plenty at stake in the 4th One Day International to be played in Sydney on Friday. With several big names failing to perform in the series to date, some players could be playing for their place in the Windies side in the remaining two matches.
Despite being horribly out of form, hard hitting Jamaican Chris Gayle could be spared the axe and instead be ruled out through injury after suffering a side strain that forced him to bat down the order in Canberra. Johnson Charles is the only other opener in the touring party and is likely to replace Gayle should he be ruled out, although wicketkeeper Devon Thomas filled in at the top in game three. Former skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan is another experienced player under threat, having been dismissed for a duck in both of the first two matches before being demoted to bat at number eight on Wednesday. The same could be said of Kieron Pollard , who has struggled to adjust to Australian conditions, with just 10 runs from his three visits to the crease and needs to improve his output as an established member of the team. Narsingh Deonarine could come into contention for a place in the middle order if coach Otis Gibson elects to make any changes.
For all the talk of their ‘rotation policy’ this season, the same eleven players have taken the field for Australia in the opening three matches of the series, with the exception being Usman Khawaja, who made way for the return of Shane Watson . Watson marked his return to the side with 122 at better than a run a ball and will continue to build up his fitness but there could be other changes to the team. Ben Cutting and Xavier Doherty have carried the drinks throughout the series but could finally be given a chance in Sydney.
The last time that these sides met in an ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in 2010, the match was abandoned just after the start of the West Indies pursuit of the hosts below par total of 225 due to rain. Prior to that clash the venue had not been a happy hunting ground for the Windies, who had suffered seven straight defeats at the ground, including one to Zimbabwe in 2001. Three of the past four completed 50 over matches here have been won by the chasing team.
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