First Test: Green in XI, Smith to open; WI name 3 debutants

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 16, 2024 IST

Pat Cummins and Kraigg Brathwaite

Adelaide, Jan 16: Australia and West Indies have announced their playing XI for the Test series opener in Adelaide. Australia's captain, Pat Cummins, confirmed that Cameron Green would make a return, and Steve Smith, in pursuit of a new chapter in his career, will open the batting.

The shift in Smith's role came after he advocated for the opportunity to open, leaving the No.4 spot for the returning Cameron Green, who had previously occupied the No.6 position. Green admitted feeling "a touch rushed" at No.6 and is now set to reclaim the No.4 position, where he excelled in the Marsh Sheffield Shield for Western Australia.

The strategic move not only addresses the void left by Warner's retirement but also enhances Australia's batting order. With both Green and Mitch Marsh in the squad, Cummins finds himself with surplus bowling options, providing a well-balanced team for the Test series.

On the West Indies side, captain Kraigg Brathwaite revealed the inclusion of three debutants: Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, and Shamar Joseph. The absence of key allrounders Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers, who are participating in T20 leagues, coupled with a shoulder concern sidelining fast bowler Jayden Seales, has prompted the Windies to introduce fresh talent.

Shamar Joseph, who hails from a remote village in central Guyana, impressed selectors in a recent tour match, showcasing potential with the ball. Experienced players like Hodge and Greaves, both 29 years old, bring first-class level expertise to the West Indies lineup.

Caribbean legend Brian Lara's mentorship in the nets and the guidance of former Australian pace bowler Shaun Tait as their coach have added valuable perspectives to the Windies camp. As West Indies aim to end a nearly 21-year Test victory drought against Australia and seek their first win down under since 1997, Brathwaite emphasizes that his team will not be mere pushovers.

The Windies, determined and backed by a mix of seasoned players and promising debutants, are poised for a competitive start to the Test series, setting the stage for an intriguing clash in Adelaide.

Playing XIs:

Australia: Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c),Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Gudakesh Motie, Shamar Joseph. (IANS)


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