One-day internationals (5): Australia 5, West Indies 0
Twenty20 international (1): Australia 0, West Indies 1
There was a time when West Indies drew full houses in Australia, with legions of fans expecting a thumping contest between the world's two best sides. Now, it seemed Channel 9 were yet to wake up to the changed reality, trailing this series with snapshots of Viv Richards and Curtly Ambrose. Sadly, however, the five-match one-day encounter was a predictable let-down, as West Indies took their run of one-day defeats by Australia in this country to 17.
Unsurprisingly, the punters stayed away. The teams had shared one-day honours in the Caribbean a year earlier. But this time West Indies were no match for Australia, who completed a whitewash, despite injuries to key players and the potentially distracting prospect of a far bigger prize - the Border-Gavaskar Trophy - around the corner. By the time the solitary 20-over international came around, many of Australia's Test squad were already in India, leaving a barely recognisable side to take on the Twenty20 world champions at Brisbane. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland's desire for a separate Twenty20 side had come to pass.
The gulf between the sides had been so vast during the one-day matches that David Warner's absence with a fractured thumb mattered little; nor did the fact that Michael Clarke and Shane Watson featured in only two games together. Watson still topped the run charts, from only three innings, ahead of George Bailey and Kieron Pollard, who made an unbeaten 109 in the fourth game, at Sydney. David Hussey had been dropped in advance and, when injuries began to bite, the selectors turned instead to Adam Voges, who at the age of 33 responded with his first century for Australia.
But it was Australia's deep bowling stocks which made the difference. The call-up of 22-year-old James Faulkner to fill the all-rounder's role meant they fielded three left-arm quicks in the first three games. The top five wicket-takers were all Australian, led by Mitchell Starc. His late swing caused problems, especially for Chris Gayle, who mustered 18 in four innings, and Ramnaresh Sarwan, who made his first appearance for West Indies since June 2011, but was dropped after three games.
West Indies' previous assignment had been on spinning tracks in Bangladesh in late 2012, and they were dealt no favours by Cricket Australia, who made them play first up in Perth - the quickest wicket in the country. That game did not last three hours, even with the 15-minute break for change of innings, after West Indies capitulated for 70. They grew more competitive as the tour wore on, but could not play well enough for long enough, and were left to celebrate only snippets of individual skill - most notably Johnson Charles's maiden hundred in all cricket, and the economy of spinner Sunil Narine.
Match reports for
Tour Match: Prime Minister's XI v West Indians at Canberra, Jan 29, 2013