Three-day Tests seem to be becoming a norm, the West Indies-Australia Test at Hobart becoming the latest in the growing list. Australia were always expected to get the better of West Indies with ease, and did the same at the Bellerive Oval. There were plenty of positives for the Aussies in both the batting and the bowling department. As for West Indies, a couple of their batsmen displayed good concentration out in the middle, but overall it was a disappointing effort. Their bowlers failed to make any sort of impact on the Australian batsmen.
The only period during which West Indies competed in the match was during the first session of the first innings, when Shannon Gabriel and Jomel Warrican chipped in with wickets. But, they failed to build on the same. And, once Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh got their eye in, there was no stopping the duo. They were completely ruthless against the poor West Indians, and kept going on and on. The best part about their partnership was that they made it a mammoth one, with both Voges and Marsh contributing to make big scores. The knocks will give them plenty of confidence going into future games.
After their batsmen did their job, Australia’s bowlers also chipped in with excellent efforts. Josh Hazlewood was among the wickets in both innings, finishing with an impressive tally of seven scalps. Nathan Lyon claimed three wickets in the first innings, all of them big ones as he destroyed the middle order. James Pattinson went wicketless in the first innings, but he was the star in the second essay with his five-for, which saw the Aussies ease to an innings victory. Pattinson’s pace was just too good for the West Indians to handle.
In contrast, West Indies had very few reasons to be pleased with their effort at Hobart, with either the bat or ball. A lot was expected of Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor considering they were the most experienced bowlers in the team, but they could not have any kind of impact on the batting unit of the hosts. Jomel Warrican was good in phases, and while he claimed three wickets, he was way too expensive. The injury to Shannon Gabriel only made matters worse for the already struggling visitors. Skipper Jason Holder went wicketless in his 24-over spell.
Even with the bat, Darren Bravo and Kraigg Brathwaite were the two only batsmen to make an impression for the visitors. While Bravo got a hundred in the first innings, Brathwaite narrowly missed out on one in the second. The rest just couldn’t stand up to the Australian bowling. The continued poor form of Marlon Samuels must be giving them headaches. West Indies would also hope that Rajendra Chandrika can get some runs. Jermaine Blackwood had a rare poor game, and that made matter worse for West Indies. All said and done, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Windies performance was on expected lines.
--By A Cricket Analyst