Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/4/23/aussies-aim-for-big-finish

Aussies aim for big finish

UPDATED 07 February, 2013 3:10PM AEST | by James Ranson 1

Australia coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke have vowed to go for the West Indies' jugular in the third and final Test, despite retaining the Frank Worrell Trophy.

Rain and poor light brought about a deflating end to the second Test at the Port of Spain just as both sides harboured genuine chances of winning it.

That Australia cannot lose the trophy will come as hollow consolation, as Clarke's pleads to the umpires to allow play to continue was a testament to that.

Clarke's bold declaration at 8-160 had set the West Indies the tempting target of 215 from 61 overs to win the Test and level the series.

The hosts needed 162 runs for victory - Australia another eight wickets - when play was halted, but the manner of Clarke's decision and later his protestations when play was called off, exemplified the Test side's new vigour and will to win under his aggressive leadership.

Clarke later spoke of his batsmen's willingness to sacrifice their wickets for the cause.

What the series has shown is that Test cricket is well and truly alive. Opposing captain Darren Sammy accepted Clarke's sporting abandon with similar free will and proceeded to slog Ben Hilfenhaus to all corners as the West Indies feverishly risked it all as the poor weather approached.

Australia face a selection dilemma with fast bowlers Peter Siddle and James Pattinson ending their tours prematurely with back injuries.

That leaves Ryan Harris, man of the match in Barbados before being rested for the second Test, and left-armer Mitchell Starc both likely to be recalled.

The Dominica pitch will be a slow one meaning Australia may employ both spinners, Nathan Lyon and Michael Beer, yet again.

Hilfenhaus remains the visitors' main weapon with eight wickets on the tour so far for an average of just under 20 but Arthur said during the week that team selection would be about balance.

"When you lose two of your quality quick bowlers it does disrupt plans just a little bit," Arthur said.

"They're world-class bowlers so it is a bit of a pity but we cater for that.

"We felt Ryan needed a break, we're going to have him fit and ready to go and we've got Starc, who has been fantastic all tour, to take his spot if we decide to go with three seamers.

"Lyon was outstanding and Beer did a really good job for us in Trinidad. We've still got the options of going with the seam or going with the spin."

The West Indies, meanwhile, have made just one change to date for the final Test with batsman Assad Fudadin coming in for injured vice-captain Kirk Edwards.

Fidel Edwards (back sorness) bowled some excellent spells in Trinidad but if he does not come up Ravi Rampaul is set to replace him.

Man of the match in Trinidad, paceman Kemar Roach, was unstoppable in the second Test as he became the first West Indian bowler to take 10 wickets against Australia since Curtly Ambrose in Adelaide in 1993.

He will spearhead the attack again in Dominica and holds the key for the hosts.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 23 April, 2012 12:57PM AEST

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