For the first time in four years, international cricket returns to the Carrara Oval in Queensland as defending champions Australia take on West Indies in a two-match T20I series which is set to serve as warm-up for the T20 World Cup starting in just over 10 days’ time.
The first T20I on Wednesday will mark the first of five matches for the Aussies at home prior to the T20WC, as they look to successfully defend their crown, while for the Windies, the series will be their last opportunity to fine-tune things before the Qualifiers, starting October 16.
Australia will enter the series as overwhelming favorites, but the Windies will be hoping, at the very least, to give the hosts a run for their money, if not pull off a mighty upset and enter the T20WC brimming with confidence.
Only T20I has ever been played at the Carrara Oval in Queensland so there really isn’t any merit looking at what happened in that particular clash four years ago. However, a total of seven Big Bash League (BBL) matches have been played at the venue since the start of 2021, so looking at those numbers might tell us something.
What’s evident is that the Carrara Oval has proved to be a low-scoring ground: the average batting first score at the venue since 2021 reads 142, and only twice have teams posted 150+ totals. The last five first innings totals at the venues, in fact, read 133, 143, 140, 148 and 115.
These scores are indicative of the fact that it’s a wicket that has historically been on the slower side.
Slower wickets, in general, tend to be spin-friendly and the Carrara Oval is no different. Since 2021, spinners have maintained an ER of 7.3 compared to the pacers’ 8.4. Pacers have taken a larger proportion of wickets, nearly 77%, but that’s because they’ve nearly bowled 65% of the overs.
The evidence at hand, then, suggests that we might have a pretty moderate-scoring contest on Wednesday.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: David Warner ©, Adam Zampa (vc)
For grand leagues: Nicholas Pooran ©, Mitchell Marsh (vc)
Stats That Matter
* Brandon King is in outstanding form. The right-hander has scored 3 fifties in his last six T20Is, and is also coming on the back of a remarkable CPL 2022, where he topped run-scoring charts with 422 runs to his name. In the final, his unbeaten 83* propelled the Tallawahs to the title.
* In his last 9 T20Is overall, David Warner has scored 405 runs at an average of 57.85 and a SR of 150.55. Filtering it to just T20Is at home since 2019, his average shoots up to 287.00 (!!). In other words, Warner has been dismissed just once in his last six T20Is at home, his scores reading 48*, 20, 2*, 57*, 60* and 100*.
* With 533 runs to his name, Nicholas Pooran is the fifth-highest run-getter in T20Is this calendar year. Among Windies batters, he is the only one to have amassed over 500 runs in 2022.
* In his last 5 T20Is at home, Josh Hazlewood has taken 12 wickets. Thrice he’s taken at least three wickets in an innings, in the said period.
Grand League Punts
* Warner might not have played a T20 since June, but his stupendous record in T20Is at home makes him a prime candidate for captain. In a way, making Warner the skipper will almost be a safe gamble.
* The same can be said for Adam Zampa, who in T20Is at home boasts an average of 19.13 and ER of 6.47. Zampa also troubled the Windies batters big time the last three times he came up against them, his figures reading 1/20, 2/30 and 2/20.
* Brandon King has never played a T20I in Australia but in the form he currently is in, he could be a wildcard pick for vice-captain.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
West Indies: Kyle Mayers, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Obed McCoy, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph