An important series for Australia who have just six games remaining to fine-tune before the T20 World Cup
All you need to know: Australia v West Indies T20 series
February 9: Blundstone Arena, Hobart, 7pm AEDT
February 11: Adelaide Oval, 6.30pm local (7pm AEDT)
February 13: Perth Stadium, 4pm local (7pm AEDT)
Past 10 matches, most recent first. W: win, L: loss, T: tie
The Aussies were beaten 4-1 in India in December as most first-choice players left following the nation's ODI World Cup triumph just days earlier. Prior to that, though, Australia were dominant in a 3-0 whitewash of South Africa in August-September when four players – Aaron Hardie, Matt Short, Spencer Johnson and Tanveer Sangha – made their T20 debuts.
It'll be a refreshed Australia squad for this series with only Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Travis Head and Steve Smith missing. The hosts are out to hit their groove with just this three-match series, following by another three games in New Zealand, remaining before the T20 World Cup in June.
West Indies: WLLWWWLLWW
The Windies missed the main group stage of the last T20 World Cup in 2022 after losses to Ireland and Scotland. However, they've bounced back to form in the shortest format, winning their last two T20 series at home against England (3-2) in December and India (3-2) in August. After a disappointing white-ball tour so far, the visitors will be hoping to assert their authority over Australia ahead of a home World Cup in June.
Australia: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Mitch Marsh returns to captain along with David Warner and Josh Hazlewood after missing the series in India entirely following the ODI World Cup. Warner found form with 42 last Saturday for his Dubai Capitals after a tough start in the UAE T20 league and ODI opener Josh Inglis appears the most likely partner at the top of the order with Head and Smith rested and Matt Short injured.
Aaron Hardie has replaced Short in the squad after the Victorian allrounder picked up a low-grade hamstring injury in the second ODI against the West Indies in Sydney. Spencer Johnson has also come in for the three-match series after joining the ODI squad in Canberra to give Nathan Ellis more time to recover from a rib injury he suffered landing on the ball in the Hobart Hurricanes' final match of the KFC BBL season. Ellis has been included in the squad to tour New Zealand later this month, as has Cummins, Starc, Smith and Head.
West Indies: 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
There's plenty of explosive talent in the tourists' 15-player squad that will be more familiar to Aussie fans than the relatively inexperienced Test and ODI line-ups. Andre Russell, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran return for the Windies, and they boast plenty of experience in Australia too with all four having played in the Big Bash previously.
The hosts should expect a fierce contest this series with those four, along with the squad's fresh inclusions – skipper Rovman Powell, Johnson Charles and Sherfane Rutherford – tuning up their T20 skills on the UAE's ILT20 league prior to arriving in Australia, while Brandon King has been playing in Bangladesh and Kyle Mayers in South Africa.
Players to watch
Josh Inglis enjoyed his switch to the top of the order in the preceding ODI series with scores of 65 and an unbeaten 16-ball 35 striking at 155 for the series to power Australia to a three-nil whitewash over the Windies. With Smith, Head and Short all missing for the T20 series, expect more of the same with Inglis likely to continue opening alongside Warner.
Ultimate entertainer Glenn Maxwell hit a stunning century in his previous T20 for Australia with his 48-ball 104 not out leading a miracle chase of 223 against India in December. He also hit an unbeaten 103 against England in his last T20 international in Hobart. A refreshed Maxwell returns to the squad after being rested from the preceding ODI series that allowed protégé Jake Fraser-McGurk to make his Australia debut.
No stranger to Australian conditions after 10 appearances for the Melbourne Renegades over the past two BBL seasons, Akeal Hosein will be crucial to the visitors' hopes of ending their all-format tour on a high. The left-arm spinner has a superb Big Bash record with 15 wickets operating at an economy of 6.25 and he sent down the most overs (44) for the West Indies in T20 internationals last year, collecting 12 wickets at 7.93 runs per over.
Box office allrounder Andre Russell is back for the West Indies and at 35 has declared he "still has a lot left in the tank". He wants to play in the home T20 World Cup this year and after collecting 3-19 and smashing 29 not out off 14 balls in his return match against England in December, he remains a genuine match-winner for the two-time T20 world champs. His last match in Australia was coincidentally in Hobart in BBL|12 where he claimed 2-23 for the Melbourne Renegades.
Overall: Australia (9 wins), West Indies (10 wins)
In Australia: Australia (4 wins), West Indies (1 wins)
Most runs: David Warner (489), Chris Gayle (420), Mitch Marsh (275), Dwayne Bravo (246), Shane Watson (240)
Most wickets: Mitchell Starc (14), Hayden Walsh (12), Josh Hazlewood (12), Mitch Marsh (8), Pat Cummins (8), Shane Watson (8), Dwayne Bravo (8)
- Australia are unbeaten in three of their four bilateral multi-game men's T20I series against West Indies (won two, drawn one), including a 2-0 win in their most recent such series (October 2022).
- West Indies have won each of their last three bilateral multi-game men's T20I series, their longest such run in the history of the format. However, their last series loss came by a 2-0 margin against Australia (October 2022).
- Australia have won all three of their men's T20Is played at Blundstone Arena. It's the only home venue in which they are yet to lose a game in the history of the format.
- West Indies have alternated between a win and a loss in each of their last eight men's T20Is away from home, including an eight-wicket win in their most recent match over India in the United States last August. The Windies will be aiming to win back-to-back T20Is away from home for the first time since a two-game streak in March 2020 against Sri Lanka.
- Batters have left 6.6 per cent of the deliveries by Australia bowlers during the death overs (17-20) in men's T20Is since the start of 2023, the highest such rate by any full member side.
- Australia (68 per cent) and the West Indies (66 per cent) have scored the highest proportion of their runs through boundaries in men's T20Is since the beginning of 2023 than any other full member teams in the format.
- Nicholas Pooran (1811) is 89 runs away from surpassing Chris Gayle (1899) to become the leading run-scorer for West Indies in men's T20Is. However, his T20I batting average of 17.3 against Australia is his lowest against any opponent he has batted in six or more innings in the format.
- Australia's Glenn Maxwell (four centuries) is one away from becoming just the second batter to strike five tons in men's T20Is after India's Rohit Sharma. If Maxwell manages to score a ton in this game, he will become just the fourth batter to score back-to-back tons in the format after an unbeaten 104 against India in his most recent T20I innings.
- Rovman Powell (West Indies) has logged a batting strike rate of 170.5 in men's T20Is since the start of 2023, the second highest of all batters from full member sides (minimum 150 balls faced) after India's Rinku Singh (176.2).
- Jason Behrendorff (Australia) has conceded 41 per cent of his runs during the death overs in men's T20Is since the start of 2023 via boundaries, the second lowest such share of runs conceded by any bowler from a full member side (minimum five overs bowled) after Ireland's Josh Little (27 per cent).
What's on the line?
In a World Cup year, plenty - for both teams and individuals. With just six T20 matches remaining for Australia (and nine for the Windies) before the World Cup, this series is crucial for both sides as they finalise their best line-up and game plans for the global showpiece.
Players will also be aiming to lock down their spot in their respective World Cup squads and there's still plenty of unknowns about how Australia plan to line up. Will Josh Inglis, Steve Smith or Travis Head open with David Warner? Is there room for both wicketkeepers (Matthew Wade and Inglis)? Will selectors take a second spinner? And who is the next quick in line behind the 'big three' of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood? All this and more will be answered over the next six games, so strap yourselves in!
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, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, 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