Australia’s struggling batsmen are battling to adjust to West Indies legspinner Hayden Walsh and the home team’s skilful defensive bowling, which has already earned them a series victory.
The West Indies have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series in St Lucia with their stranglehold over the visiting batters the main factor.
The Australians have scored 127, 140 and 6-141 across the three matches, with just one half century stand so far and Mitchell Marsh the only man to reach 50.
Walsh, who had never played against Australia before this month, is the leading wicket in the series with eight and at 5.83 also has the best economy rate of any bowler.
“He’s probably a little bit slower than most leg spinners that we’re probably accustomed to facing back home in Australia,” Australia allrounder Moises Henriques said.
“A few of us have missed opportunities to score, putting his bad balls away that he’s maybe missing short, maybe through lack of pace.
“For us it might be trying to hold our shape a little bit longer, watch the ball a little bit harder.
“We haven’t adapted to his skill set quick enough.”
Whenever Australia have looked to up the tempo they have Invariably lost wickets and have been unable to maintain pressure against an attack which has bowled good lines and been backed up by excellent fielding.
In game three, Australia scored fewer runs in the back half of their innings than the first, with Henriques noting the home bowlers excellent execution of slower balls into the wicket or wide full yorkers.
“They’ve got very defensive bowlers, in terms of them trying to protect boundaries,” Henriques said.
“I think possibly our bowlers are a little bit more attacking, and especially because we have been not scoring enough runs, they have been forced to bowl a bit more creatively and trying to take wickets rather than all out defence.
“That’s where as batters we have probably let them down.
“Guys like Mitch (Starc) and Josh (Hazlewood), they have these fantastic attributes and assets that you don’t really want to waste all the time on being defensive either, so it’s been a bit of a catch 22.
“As a batting group, it’s finding a way to score off that defensive bowling.
“We have to find a way to put them under pressure when they do start bowling that.
“Hopefully make them second guess themselves or unnerve them a little bit more.”