The last time West Indies played Australia in a major ICC event in England, Chris Gayle deposited Brett Lee 109 meters out of the Kennington Oval. West Indies played fearless cricket and they defeated Australia by a big margin in the 2009 World T20. 10 years on, Gayle is still there and he continues to hit sixes for fun. The display by the West Indies against Pakistan rekindled the memories of the 1975 and 1979 champion displays. Make no mistake about it. This West Indies side will be no pushovers against an Australia side that were far from their best against Afghanistan.
The West Indies hostile pace bowling, especially from Oshane Thomas, Andre Russell and Jason Holder, will give Australia a rough time while the batting has been boosted by the likes of Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and the power hitters like Russell and Carlos Brathwaite. The exhibition against Pakistan has warranted some serious attention and Australia will not take them lightly. Australia, on the other hand, put in a rather clinical display with Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins leading the bowling front while David Warner, who was in great form in the IPL, showed his class with a brilliant 89.
Australia has always gotten the best of the West Indies and this contest will be no different. The Australian batting has shown some depth while the bowling has been expensive in patches. Afghanistan did not make them pay but the West Indies could expose certain chinks in the armour. This contest could boil down to which team handles the short ball well and how the aggression is maintained.
There is some doubt regarding Andre Russell's fitness as he was seen hobbling after the game against Pakistan. West Indies will be hoping that Gayle is also fit. Australia, on the other hand, might be tempted to avoid conceding a big score at a venue when they were blasted for 481 by England in 2018.
Australia (Playing XI): Aaron Finch(c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
West Indies (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Shai Hope(w), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Jason Holder(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
Who will win?
This is a very difficult contest. The contest could boil down to who holds their nerve and which team maintains the aggression well. On paper, looking at both teams' resurgence, Australia looks slightly more solid than the flamboyant Windies.
Weather and pitch
The weather forecast for Trent Bridge tomorrow is cloudy with some rain forecast. There might be some rain interruptions.
In four World Cup encounters, West Indies are the only team to have a positive head-to-head record against Australia in World Cups. In nine encounters, they have won five and lost four. In the last encounter in 2007, West Indies were blown away by Matthew Hayden's knock.
Stadium and timings
The match will be played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham and the match will begin at 3:00 PM IST.