Welcome to an old-fashioned Alpha Showdown! (not really)
“Obviously no one likes a ball 140-145kph at your head.” Brathwaite, C.
Hello everyone, and cheers for joining our coverage of the bouncer summit, aka the ICC World Cup fixture between Australia and the West Indies, from Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
I kid (do I?), but the 10th fixture of this World Cup has largely been billed as the Bouncer Battle, as two cocks of the short-bowling walk face off to decide who will become the second team to two wins, after New Zealand scraped home against Bangladesh yesterday.
Taking a step back from benign bumper talk; it’s been fantastic to see the West Indies roar back into form of late – their Test series win against England and manhandling of Pakistan providing another glimpse of the revival everyone in world cricket wants to see.
They meet an Australian side on an impressive winning streak, though how meaningful that streak is will be determined in the next few days. They now play four fixtures in ten days, the result of which will provide a far clearer indication of where they’re at in ODI cricket terms.
There’s a distinct feeling that today will provide the first real insight into the true form of both units. While there’s no do-or-die element to it at all, both sides bring credible designs on winning. Legacy would suggest Australia retains the stronger reason to expect victory, but there are enough question marks within the canary-wearing outfit to suggest it’s not a foregone thing. The Windies will test that out today, no doubt.
All up, it all points to a pretty mouthwatering fixture. Would love your views, insights, love letters, grammar corrections etc, so if that takes your fancy I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org, and @sjjperry on the Twitter Bazaar.
Will have team + toss news for you shortly. In the meantime, get in touch at the above details, and check out Moeen Ali’s piece in the Graun today, for a bit of insider stuff: