ALL THE rotations in the world by John Inverarity may not be enough to breathe life into this one-day series if the West Indies’ meek surrender in Perth on Friday is a guide to their fortunes for the next fortnight.
The Australians will on Monday name a list of players that will head to India early to prepare for the four Tests, and, for the sake of levelling the playing field, they should consider sending over as many as possible.
Australia emerged on the wrong side of the ledger in a horror show at the Gabba last month but not so this time, needing just 41 minutes and 56balls to pass the Windies’ paltry score of 70 and post a nine-wicket victory.
‘‘It would have been nice if it was zero down, but it’s hard to fault that,’’ said man-of-the-match Mitchell Starc, whose career-best 5-20 decimated the Windies’ batting line-up.
The Windies’ meek surrender at 2.16pm local time – after less than three hours of play – came so quickly Channel Nine needed interviews to pad out its coverage before switching to its 5.30pm quiz show Millionaire Hot Seat on the eastern seaboard. The Windies deserved a red-hot interrogation themselves, minus the lure of a $1million bounty of course, after producing the lowest one-day international score recorded at the venue.
Their embarrassing total of 70, from just 23.5 overs, was also the Windies’ third-lowest of all time, the third-lowest by an international side in Australia and the equal 23rd poorest in the history of one-day internationals.
‘‘We need to dust ourselves off and believe we can be successful against them,’’ said Windies captain Darren Sammy.
The visitors will rue deciding to bat first on a pitch that Australian captain Michael Clarke believed had enough moisture to warrant sending the opposition in, though an examination of their faults would be more worthwhile.
That said, few pitches in the world – even one as volatile as the WACA Ground’s – have that many gremlins to justify such a low score, though the swing which Australia’s pace attack found, particularly Starc, would have unsettled far more accomplished teams.
Starc’s willingness to pitch the ball up, combined with a helpful easterly breeze which allowed him to swing the ball back into the right-hander and away from the lefties, proved too much for the Windies.
‘‘We knew there was going to be enough in the wicket,’’ Starc said. ‘‘Obviously you get that extra bounce and carry here at the WACA so we wanted to be hitting the stumps as much as we could.
‘‘I think we got enough balls up there in very good areas, where you brought in the nicks or hit the pads or bowled – that was the key today.’’
Apart from sundries, the Windies’ top-scorer was Sammy, who made 16 off 37 balls, though his team needed an innings of more substance to play out its 50 overs.
Glenn Maxwell, making a cameo appearance as an opener, made a mockery of the supposedly treacherous batting conditions by whacking 51 off 35 balls. His innings included a tennis smash over cover which landed a metre short of the rope.
‘‘Some of his shots today were very entertaining, but hard to explain,’’ Starc said.
Collated board at the end of the opening one-day international between Australia and West Indies at WACA Ground today.
West Indies Innings Mins Balls 4s 6s
C GAYLE c Finch b McKay 4 22 13 1 0
K POWELL c Clarke b Starc 11 26 18 2 0
R SARWAN b Starc 0 7 3 0 0
DM BRAVO c Clarke b Faulkner 11 40 25 1 0
D BRAVO c Hughes b Starc 0 6 2 0 0
K POLLARD b Starc 0 2 2 0 0
D THOMAS c Clarke b Faulkner 3 14 11 0 0
D SAMMY c Bailey b McKay 16 43 37 2 0
J HOLDER b Starc 7 49 19 0 0
S NARINE c Wade b McKay 0 12 11 0 0
K ROACH not out 1 4 2 0 0
Sundries (8b 3lb 6w) 17
Mitchell Starc (L) celebrates the wicket of Kieron Pollard. Photo: AFP
Fall: 14 (Gayle), 18 (Powell), 19 (Sarwan), 19 (D Bravo), 19 (Pollard), 28 (Thomas), 39 (DM Bravo), 65 (Sammy), 68 (Narine), 70 (Holder).
Bowling: C McKay 7-3-10-3 (2w), M Starc 6.5-2-20-5, J Faulkner 5-1-14-2 (2w), M Johnson 5-0-15-0 (2w).
Batting time: 119 mins.
Australia Innings Mins Balls 4s 6s
G MAXWELL not out 51 41 35 9 2
A FINCH c Thomas b Holder 10 15 6 1 0
U KHAWAJA not out 8 24 15 1 0
Sundries (2w) 2
The slips cordon was busy. Here, it was Aaron Finch's turn. Photo: Getty Images
One wicket for 71
Fall: 39 (Finch).
Bowling: K Roach 2-0-29-0, J Holder 4.2-0-18-1 (1w), S Narine 3-0-24-0 (1w).
Batting time: 41 mins.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (PAK), Paul Reiffel (AUS).
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI). Third Umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG).
Result: Australia won by 9 wickets
Man of the Match: Mitchell Starc
LOWEST ODI SCORES WEST INDIES HAVE PRODUCED AT ALL GROUNDS
Reverse sweeps, 'tennis smash' drives, backfoot cover drives off half-volleys... there was't much from the T20 repetoire that Glenn Maxwell didn't air during his entertaining 51 not out. Photo: Paul Kane
54 v South Africa, Cape Town 2004
61 v Bangladesh, Chittagong 201170 v Australia, Perth 2013
80 v Sri Lanka, Mumbai 2006
87 v Australia, Sydney 1992
91 v Zimbabwe, Sydney 2001
93 v Kenya, Pune 1996
103 v Pakistan, Melbourne 1997
110 v Australia, Manchester 1999
111 v Pakistan, Melbourne 1984
LIST OF THE LOWEST ODI SCORES BY ANY COUNTRY AT THE WACA
70 by West Indies v Australia 2013
91 by Australia v West Indies 1987
99 by Sri Lanka v England 1999
101 by Australia v India 1991
113 by India v New Zealand 1986
126 by India v West Indies 1991
126 by West Indies v India 1991
126 by Australia v South Africa 1994
134 by Zimbabwe v West Indies 2001
135 by Zimbabwe v India 2004