West Indies bowl first as T20 World Cup looms into view

West Indies

West Indies won the toss and decided to bowl against Australia

Captain Rovman Powell won the toss and elected to bowl on a grassy Bellerive Oval surface with West Indies boosted by the return of key players in the T20I series-opener against Australia.

After being whitewashed in the three-match ODI series, punctuated by humiliatingly being bowled out for 86 in Canberra, West Indies will boast a strong line-up, including Brandon King, Andre Russell and Nicholas Pooran for the first time on tour.

West Indies have strong form in the format having won their last two series against England and India.

With Matthew Wade taking the gloves for Australia, Josh Inglis will play as a specialist batter and has been named to open the batting alongside David Warner.

Having starred in India in a five-match T20I series late last year, left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff gets his chance alongside Josh Hazlewood and Sean Abbott. Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis return after missing the ODI series.

Multi-format players Steven Smith, Travis Head, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have been rested, but there will be plenty of jockeying for spots with the T20 World Cup looming.

Captain Mitchelll Marsh will play despite testing positive to Covid-19, but will be required to follow distancing protocols. Warner, playing in his 100th T20I, stood in for Marsh at the toss and said Australia would have bowled first.

The three-match series effectively ramps up T20 World Cup preparations for both teams with Australia having six matches in the next three weeks, while West Indies will use this series to settle on a squad for a World Cup played on home soil.

The teams last played T20Is against each other in October 2022 with Australia winning 2-0 in Queensland.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Josh Inglis, 3 Mitchell Marsh (capt), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5, Marcus Stoinis, 6 Tim David, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Adam Zampa, 10 Jason Behrendorff, 11 Josh Hazlewood

West Indies 1 Brandon King, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 4 Shai Hope, 5 Rovman Powell (c), 6 Sherfane Rutherford, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Romario Shepherd, 9 Akeal Hosein, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Gudakesh Motie

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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