Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/9/windies-whitewash-in-australian-sights

Windies whitewash in Australia's sights

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 3:57PM AEST | by Damien Souness, Omnisport

A new-look Australia will aim to complete a dominant clean sweep of the West Indies in Sunday's fifth and final ODI at the MCG.

Australia, who thumped the Windies by five wickets in game four on Friday, will be without skipper Michael Clarke as well as Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell in Melbourne.

Clarke has been sidelined with a recurrence of hamstring soreness, while Wade, Starc and Maxwell have been withdrawn in preparation for a four-Test series in India.

Shane Watson, only two games into his return from a calf injury, will lead the side, with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to replace Wade behind the stumps.

Western Australia batsman Shaun Marsh has been promoted on the back of some impressive domestic form, while uncapped seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile will remain with the squad as extra cover.

Australia have played some of their best cricket against the West Indies, who have failed to fire on a winless and underwhelming tour.

The Aussies won the series opener by nine wickets with more than 40 overs to spare before cruising to victory in the following three games.

Watson marked his return with a superb 122 off 111 balls in game three in Canberra, followed by 76 off 84 in Sydney on Friday.

He is likely to open the batting alongside Aaron Finch, who will look to cap his promotion to the team with a much-needed big score.

Finch made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka last month, but has largely struggled with a top score of 38 against the West Indies in Canberra.

West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard was out of form with the bat with scores of zero, one and nine before blasting an unbeaten 109 off 136 balls to restore some pride in game four.

Pollard will need to be at his best again in Melbourne if the Windies are to have any hope of salvaging a win.

Likewise, openers Kieran Powell and Johnson Charles and the Bravo brothers - Dwayne and Darren - will be out to make amends after all were dismissed for single figures in Sydney.

The ODI series will be followed by a one-off Twenty20 clash in Brisbane on Wednesday.

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

First Posted 09 February, 2013 4:00PM AEST

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