Abbott 'chuffed' with the runs but wickets the priority

Sean Abbott was pleased to play a crucial role with the bat but says wickets are more important

Sean Abbott is quick to quip he enjoyed his wickets more than his runs after his finest performance to date in Australian colours as he knows wickets are his passage to a more permanent role in the nation's white-ball teams.

Abbott hasn't had many opportunities to play for Australia of late owing to the success of the 'big three' fast bowlers in Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, but when he does, he's certainly making it count to solidify his spot as the next in line.

The 31-year-old's only game in last year's victorious 50-over World Cup campaign yielded two wickets from his 10 overs against Bangladesh, and he's the top wicket-taker with five after the first two ODIs in this month's series against the West Indies.

Abbott's day out continues with three wickets, two catches

He's also hit back-to-back half-centuries in his last two knocks in the format, 54 against India in Indore last September, which he bettered with a 63-ball 69 to dig Australia out of a massive hole on Sunday night and help them to a series-clinching 83-run victory in Sydney.

But while the runs are nice, Abbott still has eyes for the bigger prize.

"I'm chuffed with the runs, but my job is to go out there and take wickets and do a job with the ball," he said after his player of the match performance that included 3-40 on his home ground the SCG.

Abbott rescues Aussies with career-high 69

"Usually if I'm getting a bat, it means we've lost a few wickets up top.

"I'd love to bat as high as possible, I'm horrific watcher of cricket, I'm so nervous, but we've got some pretty talented batters higher up in the line-up.

"Aaron Hardie was our seven tonight and we all know how good he is and how well he's going with the bat.

"I've been working quite hard (on my batting), obviously didn't play all that many games in the World Cup and that allowed me to go away and train with Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis, the guys that missed a few games as well.

"I just had a couple of hits with my good friend and long-time coach Trent Woodhill over the last couple of weeks just to work on a couple of things and it was nice to reap some rewards tonight in a pressure situation and get us to a competitive score.

"It's a game I'll remember for a long time but chuffed to get there and get the job done with the pill."

Australia v West Indies | Second ODI

With at least a wicket in each of his past six one-day internationals dating back to the fifth ODI against South Africa last year, only Adam Zampa (28.2) has struck at a more frequent rate for the Aussies since that match than Abbott's 11 wickets that have come on average once every 32.4 deliveries bowled.

But he's also realistic about his place right on the edge of Australia's best XI in both limited-overs formats and is determined to push his fellow quicks to keep improving.

"I know how talented some of the guys are that have been playing and that are also the next guys in," Abbott said.

"But I use it as an opportunity to just try and keep getting better and if I'm not playing, I assume it's going to help them get better because I'm pushing them to get better.

"There's not much else you can do if you're not getting picked because guys are playing really well.

"The best you can do is just keep going out and performing and keep getting better.

"I can cop that if guys are playing really well … I'll be doing everything to get their spot, there's no doubt about that but at the same time, I'm quite realistic that we've got a hell of a talented pool of fast bowlers at the moment."

Abbott reflects on his best ever performance for Australia

Australia have rotated their emerging quicks so far across the two matches against the West Indies with the debutants from the first ODI, Xavier Bartlett and Lance Morris, replaced by another debutant Will Sutherland for the second while third-gamer Aaron Hardie, who didn't bat or bowl in the previous match, took the new ball.

Although Abbott has embraced his role as leader of a relatively inexperienced Australia bowling line-up barring Josh Hazlewood's cameo in Sydney, he's not prepared to give up his spot voluntarily for Tuesday dead-rubber in Canberra.

"I definitely don't want to skip any games," he said.

"It's obviously a tight turnaround but that's part of playing cricket for your country.

"We look after ourselves and I'll be in the ice bath in a minute and having kilos and kilos of food, but I don't want to give up a game.

"It's obviously a hard team to get into, there's a few guys missing out tonight (and) resting like 'Patty' (Cummins) and 'Starcy', so it's a hard team to get into and it's an even harder team to stay in so looking forward to hopefully making it three-zip on Tuesday but I won't be giving up my spot for rest if I can I help it."

Men's Dettol ODI Series v West Indies

February 2: Australia won by eight wickets

February 4: Australia won by 83 runs

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