AUS vs WI, 2024: Australia’s best playing XI for the Test series against West Indies

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Following an impressive 3-0 triumph over Pakistan on their home soil, the reigning World Test champions, Australia, are preparing for a two-match Test series against the West Indies, scheduled to commence on January 17 (Wednesday). The first Test is set to unfold at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, while the second Test is earmarked for the Gabba in Brisbane.

Australia’s Test squad adjustments for West Indies series

Australia have made significant adjustments to their Test squad compared to the previous encounter against Pakistan in Sydney. Former Australia captain Steve Smith will replace retired David Warner and will form an opening partnership with Usman Khawaja. Additionally, the talented all-rounder Cameron Green have made a comeback into the side and is expected to bat at the No. four position, bolstering the team’s batting order.

Dominant Australia eyes fortification of top position

Australia currently commands a dominant position at the top of the points table in the third edition of World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle with five wins in eight games. A victory against the West Indies would further fortify their lead in the standings.

Australia’s top-choice playing XI for the Test series against West Indies

Dominant openers:

Usman Khawaja: A seasoned left-handed opener, Khawaja’s proficiency against both pace and spin makes him a reliable choice at the top. Known for his elegant strokeplay and solid technique, Khawaja provides stability to the innings.

Steve Smith: Renowned as one of the world’s best batter, Smith’s will be opening for the first time in Test cricket after the retirement of the prolific opener Warner. His unorthodox technique and adaptability to various bowling styles make him a formidable force at the opening position. Smith’s ability to read the game and counter both pace and spin adds a unique dimension to the opening partnership.

Also READ: AB de Villiers shares his verdict on Australia’s move to employ Steve Smith as a Test opener

Prolific middle order:

Marnus Labuschagne: Labuschagne, a linchpin of the Australian batting lineup, is renowned for his ability to anchor the innings. His temperament, combined with an extensive range of shots, allows him to convert starts into substantial scores consistently.

Cameron Green: A rising star in Australian cricket, Green is a dynamic all-rounder known for his tall stature, aggressive batting, and handy medium-fast bowling. Green’s ability to change the course of a game with both bat and ball adds a crucial dimension to the team.

Travis Head (vc): The vice-captain, Head, adds dynamism to the middle order. Equally capable of playing the anchor or aggressor role, Head’s aggressive style complements the stability provided by other batters in the lineup.

Mitchell Marsh: A versatile all-rounder, Marsh brings a balanced combination of aggressive batting and medium-fast bowling. Marsh’s ability to contribute with both bat and ball adds depth to the team’s middle order.

Skillful wicketkeeper:

Alex Carey: A skilled wicketkeeper-batter, Carey’s agility behind the stumps and ability to accelerate the innings with the bat make him a valuable asset. Carey’s dynamic approach adds depth to the batting order.

Formidable Bowling Attack:

Pat Cummins (c): As the captain and pace spearhead, Cummins combines raw pace with strategic acumen. His ability to extract bounce and generate movement makes him a potent force, both as a leader and a bowler.

Nathan Lyon: The premier spinner, Lyon’s experience and guile make him Australia’s go-to spinner. Lyon’s ability to create pressure in the middle overs and pick up crucial breakthroughs adds a vital spin dimension to the bowling attack.

Josh Hazlewood: Known for his relentless accuracy, Hazlewood’s disciplined line and length make him a constant threat to opposing batters. Hazlewood’s ability to exploit conditions and provide crucial breakthroughs is a key asset.

Mitchell Starc: A left-arm fast bowler with express pace, Starc is a genuine wicket-taker. Capable of swinging the new ball and delivering lethal yorkers at the death, Starc’s aggressive approach adds a cutting edge to the pace attack.

This formidable playing eleven, featuring Smith at the opening slot, embodies a perfect blend of experience, skill, and dynamism. Led by Cummins, the team possesses a strong batting lineup, versatile all-rounders, and a potent bowling attack. With a mix of seasoned campaigners and emerging talents, Australia will aim to assert its dominance in the Test series against West Indies.

Also READ: BBL|13: Australian icon Shaun Marsh bids farewell from all forms of cricket

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