Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/7/windies-playing-for-pride

Windies playing for pride

UPDATED 07 February, 2013 9:11PM AEST | by Paul Barbieri, Omnisport

The West Indies head to Sydney for Friday's fourth one-day international against Australia with nothing to lose as they look to take something from a disappointing series so far.

The Aussies wrapped up the five-match Commonwealth Bank Series on Wednesday night, taking an unassailable 3-0 lead with a 39-run victory over the tourists at Canberra's Manuka Oval.

Although they were humiliated in the first match in Perth last Friday, the West Indies have produced vastly improved performances in the last two games and were in positions to win both those encounters in Perth and Canberra.

That they didn't owes a little to Australia's quality batting in both those games and the West Indies' inability to take the big moments with the bat as they have attempted to chase down big totals.

The visitors' issues with the bat haven't been helped by form slumps to two of their biggest hitters in Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.

Both players featured in the recent KFC Big Bash League and should be accustomed to Australian conditions, but Sydney Thunder opener Gayle struggled to make an impact in that competition as his side finished in last position, although Pollard did manage some impressive knocks for Adelaide.

In this series, though, their contributions have been minimal to say the least, and probably go a long way towards their team being 3-0 down and playing in a dead rubber.

Gayle has managed scores of four, four and two, while Pollard is only slightly better with 11, one and nine.

The explosive Gayle, however, may have played his last game in Australia this summer as he suffered a side strain during the match in Canberra and is only a 50-50 proposition for Friday's game after having scans on the injury.

Australia also have an injury concern as vice-captain George Bailey, who batted brilliantly in making 125 during the second ODI in Perth, is under an injury cloud after colliding with paceman James Faulkner in the field.

If Bailey is not fit enough to play, then Western Australian vice-captain Adam Voges has been drafted in as cover, while the Australians may also look to take a spinning option into this match in Sydney, giving Xavier Doherty a chance to play.

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

First Posted 07 February, 2013 9:09PM AEST

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