World Cup 2019, Australia vs West Indies: 3 key battles that could determine the outcome of the match
Australia take on the West Indies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday in the 10th match of the ICC World Cup 2019. Both sides come into this game on the back of glorious wins, with Aaron Finch's men getting the better of Afghanistan and the boys from the Caribbean islands winning comfortably over Pakistan.
This promises to be an exciting encounter between two sides that have some serious strengths on paper. Their weaknesses seem to be complementary too: Australia's bowling is a concern whereas the West Indies will be worrying over their inexperienced batting line-up.
Here, we pick out three key battles that could determine the outcome on Thursday.
1) David Warner vs Jason Holder
Australia's swashbuckling opener David Warner will be up against the West Indies' captain and opening fast bowler Jason Holder when the two countries meet on Thursday. Warner comes into this game on the back of a match-winning 89 not out against Afghanistan, while Holder picked up 3 wickets for 42 runs against Pakistan.
Warner played sedately against Afghanistan but there is no telling how he might treat the West Indies bowlers on Thursday. Holder will have to get Warner's wicket early if he wants to stem the flow of runs.
Warner is a proven match-winner and will be a thorn in the West Indies' flesh. Captain Holder must take the initiative and get him early.
2) Steve Smith vs Oshane Thomas
Former Australia captain Steve Smith did not get too many against Afghanistan in his side's first game of the World Cup, but he had warmed up with a brilliant ton against England in a pre-tournament practice match. On Thursday, he will come up against the West Indies' up and coming fast bowler Oshane Thomas.
Thomas will be high on confidence as he comes into this game on the back of a four-wicket haul against Pakistan in his side's first game of the tournament. He will be licking his lips to get the better of Smith and the other Australian batsmen on Thursday.
Thomas extracted a lot of bounce against Pakistan at the same venue (Trent Bridge), and it will be exciting to see what happens on Thursday.
3) Chris Gayle vs Mitchell Starc
The self-proclaimed 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle hit a quickfire 50 in his side's first match of the World Cup against Pakistan while chasing a low target, and will be keen to get a bigger score against Australia on Thursday. He will come head to head with left arm seamer Mitchell Starc, who is unlikely to take any prisoners.
Gayle is a very dangerous batsman who can set the West Indies towards a big total and Starc will have the tough task of keeping him quiet. The battle between these two will be lip-smacking given that both are big stars in their own right.
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