West Indies v Australia ODIs - Men's
Christian earns shock recall for series decider
Veteran T20 specialist to play first List A game in four years, as Josh Hazlewood and Ashton Agar also return for third ODI against Windies
Louis Cameron at Kensington Oval, Barbados
27 July 2021, 04:17 AM AEST
Australia have sensationally recalled Dan Christian to play his first List A game in nearly four years, and his first ODI in seven-and-a-half years, for their series decider against West Indies in Barbados.
Josh Hazlewood and Ashton Agar have also returned to the side, with the injured Ben McDermott along with rookie pace duo Wes Agar and Riley Meredith making way, as the Aussies seek to extend their 21-year ODI hold over the Windies.
The hosts' skipper Kieron Pollard won the toss and elected to bat first.
McDermott remains in a moon boot after hurting his right ankle in the second ODI, with the Aussies none the wiser over the severity of the injury after he was unable to get a scan on Monday morning as originally planned.
The tourists are hopeful they will be have a diagnosis before they depart on Wednesday for the upcoming five-game T20I series against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
McDermott's injury, which he suffered after an awkward landing on rain covers while attempting a boundary-line catch, has left Australia without two opening batters after captain Aaron Finch flew home on Sunday due to a knee injury.
Moises Henriques, yet to reach double digits in this ODI series, has been promoted to open, while stand-in skipper Alex Carey has moved up to No.4 and Matthew Wade to No.5 with Christian slotting in at No.7.
The inability to call up a replacement for Finch due to difficulties associated with travel during the pandemic meant Australia were left with little choice but to select Christian, who last played a domestic one-dayer in October 2017.
His most recent game of 50-over cricket came in Sydney grade cricket in November when he played for the University of NSW against Parramatta, while he played the last of his 19 ODIs in 2014.
"He offers a lot of experience," Carey said of the 38-year-old. "We might talk about him not playing one-day cricket for a while but there's a wealth of knowledge, he's played a lot of cricket."
The return of Ashton Agar, essentially at the expense of his younger brother Wes who was an unlikely star with the bat in the second ODI from No.10, comes after a hamstring injury sidelined him from the opening two ODIs and part of the preceding T20 campaign.
West Indies spinners Akeal Hosein and Hayden Walsh have been a thorn in Australia's side during the ODIs, with the visitors electing to match them in picking two specialist slow bowlers in Agar and Adam Zampa.
The use of the same pitch as the second ODI should only enhance their impact.
Hazlewood returns after missing the second match due to a minor calf complaint he has been managing throughout the Caribbean tour.
Australia last lost an ODI series during their famed 1995 tour, better known for their drought-breaking Test series victory that followed,
"There won't be a greater feeling for our youngsters than to come in and break the jinx of a record that has (eluded) us for so long," Hosein said yesterday.
"1995 – it's some time. It will definitely be a brilliant feeling.
"It was something special when we defeated them in the T20 series. It would be another special feeling to help the team get across the line, and for the region."
West Indies XI: Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Shemron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Hayden Walsh, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell
Australia XI: Moises Henriques, Josh Philippe, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (c & wk), Matthew Wade, Ashton Turner, Dan Christian, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Qantas Tour of the West Indies 2021
Australia squad: Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (vc for ODIs), Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (vc for T20Is), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.
West Indies ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Shai Hope (vc), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd
T20 series: West Indies won 4-1 (all matches at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia)
First T20: West Indies won by 18 runs
Second T20: West Indies won by 56 runs
Third T20: West Indies won by six wickets
Fourth T20: Australia won by four runs
Fifth T20: West Indies won by 16 runs
ODI series (all matches at Kensington Oval, Barbados)
First ODI: Australia won by 133 runs
Second ODI: West Indies won by four wickets
Third ODI (D/N): July 27, 4.30am AEST (July 26, 2.30pm local)