Australia and West Indies will lock horns in a two-match Test series, starting Wednesday at the Perth Stadium. Australia, the top-ranked Test team in the world, will take on eighth-ranked West Indies in the first Test match between the sides since January 2016, which ended in a draw.
Here are the head-to-head numbers in Tests between Australia and West Indies. The host enjoys a favourable record against the Windies in Tests, having won 58 of the 116 Tests played between them so far. In recent years, Australia’s dominance has been more pronounced - West Indies last won a Test match against the Aussies back in May 2003 in Antigua, when it registered the highest successful run-chase in Test history - a record that stands to date.
In Australia, West Indies has won just 18 Tests out of 66 and has ended on the losing side 37 times. West Indies last tasted success in Test cricket in Australia way back in February 1997 when it beat the host by 10 wickets at Perth. Since then Australia has been undefeated in 14 Tests at home against West Indies, winning 12 and drawing two.
What happened the last time West Indies visited Australia for a Test series?
West Indies, led by Jason Holder, toured Australia in 2015-16 for a three-match series and went home with a 2-0 defeat. The writing was on the wall for the visitor in the first Test when Australia won by an innings and 212 runs inside three days at Hobart. Adam Voges piled misery on the Windies attack with an unbeaten 269 as Australia posted a daunting 583 for four declared which West Indies couldn’t surmount even in two innings.
Australia clinched the series in Melbourne after winning the second Test by 177 runs in four days. While the margin of victory may not seem as staggering as that of the first Test, it was just as clinical a performance by the host. It set up a mammoth 551 for three in the first innings, riding on centurions Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith and Voges and then dismantled West Indies for 271 with James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon picking four wickets each. Despite a lead of 280, Australia decided against enforcing the follow-on and set West Indies 460 to win after scoring 179 for three declared in the second innings. It was a similar story as West Indies managed only 282 with Mitchell Marsh (four for 61) and Lyon (three for 85) inflicting damage.
The rain gods saved West Indies the ignominy of a series whitewash in the third Test at Sydney. West Indies was bowled out for 330 in its first innings before rain interrupted play on the second day and ensured no play was possible on days three and four. David Warner’s 82-ball hundred on the final was the only consolation Australia got for being denied a series sweep.
Australia (last five Tests): L W W D D
The top-ranked side faced a hiccup in its last Test outing when it was stunned by seventh-ranked Sri Lanka by an innings and 39 runs in Galle in July after winning the first Test by 10 wickets. While the series ended level at 1-1, Australia took a lot of inspiration from its 1-0 win in the three-match Test series in Pakistan in March. After keeping the host at bay with two draws, Australia clinched the series with a 115-run win in the final Test in Lahore. In seven Tests played in 2022, Australia has won three, lost as many and drawn one.
West Indies (last five Tests): W W W D D
A good track record in 2022 in Tests should be a source of inspiration for West Indies coming into a series in which the odds are heavily stacked against it. The Kraigg Brathwaite-led side is coming off a 2-0 hammering of ninth-ranked Bangladesh at home, which followed a historic 1-0 win over England, which ended Joe Root’s captaincy and caused a major coaching and captaincy reshuffle in the English camp. Prompting a similar rejig in the Australian set-up down under will be a much greater challenge but the Windies will take confidence of being undeated in the five Tests they have played this year.