Aussie captain Michael Clarke warned Shane Watson he would need to perform to earn his Test spot back.
Aussie captain Michael Clarke warned Shane Watson he would need to perform to earn his Test spot back.

Windies skipper keeping the faith

IT WILL be a case of all or nothing for West Indies captain Darren Sammy and his teammates against Australia at Canberra's Manuka Oval today.

The Windies are 2-0 down in the five-match one-day international series after losing the first two games at the WACA in Perth - they need to win game three ... there is no other option.

But despite the precarious situation, one thing is for sure - the Windies batsmen are not running scared at the prospect of facing Australia's chief destroyer to-date, young NSW left-arm quick, Mitchell Starc.

Well, according to Sammy they are not.

Starc took 5-20 in game one on Friday before snaring 5-32 on Sunday.

"He (Starc) is bowling well at the moment but he's not unplayable," Sammy said yesterday.

While Starc has caused plenty of havoc to the top of the Windies batting order, Sammy said he wouldn't be making changes to it.

After a disappointing Big Bash League campaign for the Sydney Thunder, where he scored only 137 runs in seven games, big-hitting opener Chris Gayle is still struggling for runs, scoring only eight in his two innings at the WACA, but Sammy is not letting that worry him.

"Chris is his own man. He is the coolest fella I know of," Sammy said.

"He'll back his ability and know his teammates support him throughout whatever he's going through."

While the Windies have plenty to play for today, so does injury-prone Australian Test vice-captain Shane Watson.

Watson, who won the Twenty20 player of the year award at the Allan Border Medal on Monday night, returns to the international stage for the first time since injuring his calf in the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka and will open in the rest of the series in his bid to secure a Test berth purely as a batsman in India later this month.

Aussie captain Michael Clarke warned Watson he would need to perform to earn his Test spot back.

"As I've said to Watto, while he's not bowling he goes into a much bigger pool of players," Clarke said after winning the Allan Border Medal for a fourth time.

"In regards to the pool of batsmen, it's a much bigger pool than the pool of all-rounders in Australian cricket at the moment.

"But Shane knows if he's at his best, he's as good as any player in the world let alone the Australian team."

2013 Allan Border Medal Winners

  • Allan Border Medal: Michael Clarke
  • Test player of the year: Michael Clarke
  • One-day international player of the year: Clint McKay
  • T20 international player of the year: Shane Watson
  • Belinda Clark Medal: Jess Cameron
  • Domestic player of the year: Phil Hughes
  • Bradman young cricketer of the year: Joe Burns