|Matthew Wade receives his|
Baggy Green from Ricky Ponting
For the West Indies, the normal counterpoint of this approach, Adrian Barath, was back at the top of the order and Narsigh Deonarine into the team to bat at 6 after nearly two years in the wilderness. There was no Sunil Narine, prevented from being selected by the West Indies Board allowing him to be contracted to the IPL. Leg Spinner Davendra Bishoo played in his stead. Australia chose their side almost entirely as expected, with the top six intact and Matthew Wade making his debut in place of the self-deposed Brad Haddin. The only slight surprise was the selection of Ryan Harris ahead of the wunderkind of last summer, James Patterson.
After winning the toss and batting, West Indies crawled to 60 by lunch, losing only Barath to a piece of dumb cricket. Harris came around the wicket to the compulsive hooker, with two men back behind square for the catch. First ball was a bouncer and Barath put it down Peter Siddle's throat. The Australian's bowled well but needed to make the batsmen play more often.
After lunch, Kirk Edwards provided the only bright light of the day, driving sumptuously down the ground and looking full of runs. At the other end, Kraigg Brathwaite did more than drop anchor. He tethered himself so effectively to the crease that it appeared only a terrorist attack might shift him. The Australians didn't help themselves during the second session, Ponting dropping a sharp chance from Brathwaite off Watson in the slips and Watson dropping an absolute clanger at second slip from Kirk Edwards off Siddle. Those chances followed Siddle's spill off his own bowling when Brathwaite returned him a catch early in the first session.
The pair were finally parted in the half hour before tea after adding 104 for the second wicket, when Michael Clarke used the Easter prerogative and found yet another hat to pull a rabbit from. He bought Dave Warner on to bowl leggies, despite there being only one wicket in his first class record. In his third over, with Edwards sporting saucer plate eyes at being at the wicket when such juicy fruits were being sent down, he bowled a long hop, short and wide and Edwards chased it but managed to send it back to the bowler who held a good catch.
|The look of Day 1 - Kraigg Brathwaite|
Drinks were taken with Darren Bravo and Shiv Chanderpaul at the crease and then the rain came down and didn't stop.
West Indies have made a tidy start but the middle order needs to go on with the job and at a stronger clip. The Australian's, in return, were below their best in the field, dropping catches and looking out of sorts. As he was during the summer, Peter Siddle was the stand out but all of the bowlers could have done more to make the batsmen play.
An hour lost will be made up across ensuing days. There is still much to happen in this Test, including the battle between a much improved West Indies attack and powerful Australian batting lineup which is yet to prove itself on this tour. Roach, Edwards, Sammy and Bishoo represents as good an attack as West Indies can field. Ravi Rampaul, recovered but left in the wings, is still the best of them but his place is being taken by Darren Sammy and the West Indies can ill afford to be without his leadership. He shapes as their best skipper since Clive Lloyd, moving his men to things they thought beyond them.