Positive scan results for breakout star Shamar Joseph after a toe-crushing Mitchell Starc yorker had forced him to retire hurt
Windies’ hopes boosted as Joseph cleared of toe fracture
Shamar Joseph has been cleared of a fracture in his right big toe after the rookie quick was forced to retire hurt on Saturday night at the Gabba, clearing the way for his possible return as West Indies chase their first Test win in Australia for almost 27 years.
By stumps on day three the hosts were in the box seat at 2-60 in pursuit of 216, but a rainy Brisbane forecast and an inspired performance from the Windies quicks to begin the second innings late on day three has offered the tourists hope they can pull off a monumental upset.
"I think we bowled pretty well," said Windies fast bowler and vice-captain Alzarri Joseph. "It's just for us to come tomorrow and keep putting the ball in the right areas.
"You never know what can happen on the fourth day. As long as we bowl the ball in the right areas, we can still win this game. For us, it's about doing the right things for long periods."
After his heroics in Adelaide – in which he took a maiden five-for on debut – West Indies fans will be desperate to see Shamar Joseph reemerge from the Gabba tunnel on day four and take his place.
In his absence however, allrounder Justin Greaves stepped up impressively through the opening exchanges of the fourth innings, finding good seam movement and hitting the right areas to claim the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne, edging to third slip for five.
Australia will be hoping their unbeaten pair, Steve Smith (33no) and Cameron Green (9no), can make the big scores they have been seeking for some time now. Smith has gone 16 Test innings without a hundred – his equal-longest stretch since his maiden ton in 2013 – while Green has failed to fire in 10 innings since breaking through for his first hundred against India last March.
Since then the 24-year-old has been dropped from the side, and was only recalled for the first Test against the West Indies in Adelaide, taking Steve Smith's spot at number four as the veteran batter moved up to open in place of the retired David Warner.
Asked about their relatively lean trots, Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon was dismissive of any concern.
"We're talking about arguably the greatest player in the last decade," Lyon said of Smith. "There's a lot of talk about his batting. I sit here and laugh because he's arguably the best problem solver I've ever played with.
"I don't need to talk about Smithy – his numbers speak for himself – and there's been no-one worried about Smithy's form, if that's what the question is, but it's been pretty amazing to have him put his hand up to go up to the top of the order.
"If you look at Greeny, I've had the challenge of bowling to him in Shield cricket and he's given me a lot of headaches. I'm actually really enjoying seeing him at number four and I feel like he could be the next Jacques Kallis of international cricket (with the team) investing time in him at number four."
West Indies haven't won a Test in Australia since they enjoyed a 10-wicket success on a cracked-up WACA Ground pitch in Perth in February 1997 – a couple of years before either Shamar Joseph or Green were even born.
Incredibly, 10 of the 22 players from that match were at the Gabba on Saturday, in either broadcast or coaching roles, while the spirited performance of the West Indies across the first three days of this Test has certainly evoked memories of their great teams from yesteryear.
The ongoing match is the fifth time the Caribbean side have asked their hosts to chase more than 200 to win a Test at the Gabba, and the first since 1975.
Australia have succeeded twice, failed once, and in December 1960, they were bowled out with the scores level, with the match ending as the first tie in Test history.
NRMA Insurance Test series v West Indies
First Test: Australia won by 10 wickets
Second Test: January 25-29, Gabba (3pm AEDT)
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc
West Indies Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Alzarri Joseph (vc), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, Joshua Da Silva, Akeem Jordan, Gudakesh Motie, Kemar Roach, Kevin Sinclair, Tevin Imlach, Shamar Joseph, Zachary McCaskie
Men's Dettol ODI Series v West Indies
February 2: MCG, 2.30pm AEDT
February 4: SCG, 2.30pm AEDT
February 6: Manuka Oval, Canberra 2.30pm AEDT
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), Travis Head (vc), Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Matt Short, Will Sutherland, Adam Zampa
West Indies ODI squad: Shai Hope (c), Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Men's Dettol T20I Series v West Indies
February 9: Blundstone Arena, Hobart 7.00pm AEDT
February 11: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT
February 13: Perth Stadium, 7pm AEDT
Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
West Indies T20I squad: Rovman Powell (c), Shai Hope, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas