Australia, West Indies 3rd ODI today

SYDNEY: The third game of the ODI series between Australia and West Indies will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. And with the hosts leading the series 2-0, another win here would mean that the Australians would end up having an unassailable lead in the match-up.

It is difficult to see how the West Indian side will be able to overcome the rather strong Australian line-up that has managed to bat and bowl with equal aplomb. And with starts like the ones that the West Indies has had in the series – they were 12/3 in the first game and a worse 16/4 in the second – it is only safe to assume that Australia will be favourites to make it three in a row.

The West Indian side will need to shuffle their batting around a little. Chris Gayle is bound to come good at some point or the other, such is his class. But one cannot be sure of the move to have Runako Morton opening the innings with him, or to have the pair of Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard bat so down the order.

One can almost see one of Smith or Pollard going up the order, and Morton going out of the side.

As compared to that, the Aussies have been rotating their best players around. Shane Watson and Brad Haddin have been afforded a break, and that has allowed Tim Paine and Adam Voges a re-entry into the squad. Paine will do both Watson and Haddin’s job as an opener and a wicket-keeper respectively, whereas Voges could be drafted into the playing eleven if the pitch is deemed to be a turner.

The onus, therefore, will lie in the hands of the top-order of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. The one batsman who has had a quiet series so far due to the lack of opportunities, is Michael Hussey and one can expect him to come to the party here!