Australia head into the two-Test series against the West Indies beginning in Adelaide on Wednesday as the hottest of favourites, but the visitors insist they are ready to shock the reigning world Test champions.
For the Australians, the biggest challenge has been deciding on a replacement for veteran opener David Warner, who retired after their win over Pakistan at the SCG earlier this month.
They have settled on moving Steve Smith up the order and bringing back towering all-rounder Cameron Green to bat at No 4, where he slots in for the Western Australia state side.
The rest of the team is unchanged from the one that beat Pakistan 3-0 in the just-completed series.
Smith said he had lobbied to replace Warner at the top of the order, adding that it allowed the selectors to pick Green at No 4 instead of asking him to open.
“They were obviously very keen to get Cameron in the side as well and play our best six batters, and for me it didn’t sit right to have him come in and bat up top,” Smith told reporters earlier this week.
“I’ve played for a long time and I’m an experienced player, and I think it’s something I should have done.”
For the West Indies, however, it is a completely different picture, with seven uncapped players in their 15-man squad.
They will also be missing former captain Jason Holder and fellow all-rounder Kyle Mayers, who have both chosen to sit out the tour to concentrate on the T20 format.
The once mighty West Indies have not won a Test in Australia since 1997 and were soundly beaten when they toured last summer.
The only members of the squad with Test match experience are captain Kraigg Brathwaite, vice-captain Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Joshua Da Silva, Gudakesh Motie, Kirk McKenzie and Kemar Roach.
Joseph said the West Indies had taken inspiration from how an unheralded Pakistan had pushed the Australians and even had chances to win two of the Tests.
“We’re here to win two Test matches, we’re not just here to play,” Joseph said.
“We had a look at some of the things Pakistan did and we’re going to try to implement some of them, but we all have different ways of doing things.
“For us, it’s about being brave, being positive.”
Joseph conceded the visitors were underdone in the Test arena, having played only six since their last visit to Australia just over 12 months ago.
Australia, by contrast, have played 17.
“I think last time our lengths were a bit short,” Joseph said. “We just need to be a bit fuller and stay patient. Basically it’s different to the Caribbean, a bit more bounce.
“I’ve been coming from a lot of white-ball cricket so for me, it’s getting back into red-ball lengths and holding that for a long period.”
© Agence France-Presse
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