West Indies give Australia trouble in Trinidad
Australia's cricketers need another strong performance from the tail after the top-order batsmen failed to capitalise on good starts on day one of the second Test against the West Indies.
At the close of play in Trinidad, Australia was 5 for 208, with Michael Hussey (26) and Matthew Wade (11) at the crease, after Michael Clarke had won the toss and elected to bat.
Despite the underwhelming total, Shane Watson, Australia's top scorer with 56, believes a score in excess of 300 will put Australia in a very strong position in the game.
"No doubt if we can get around 300 it will be a good first innings score and the wicket is only going to get worse," he said.
"It's only going to get slower, it's only going to turn more. There's no doubt our two spinners who we've got playing will certainly be able to make the most of these conditions because the wicket is only going to deteriorate and get worse."
David Warner (29) and Ed Cowan (28) put on 53 for the first wicket before the former edged off-spinner Shane Shillingford to captain Darren Sammy at slip.
Cowan was a little unfortunate to be given leg before to Kemar Roach, a decision he reviewed hoping the ball struck him outside the line but replays showed it was a borderline call and his appeal was rejected.
Ricky Ponting (7) was the only top-order batsman not to get a start receiving a ball from the erratic Roach (2 for 77) that left him slightly and forced a nick that wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh parried and Sammy at slip grasped.
Watson and Michael Clarke (45) put on 84 runs for the fourth wicket before the captain hit a rank long-hop from Narsingh Deonarine straight to Shillingford on the square leg boundary.
The West Indies will have viewed Clarke's wicket as just reward as moments earlier he was given out leg before to Shillingford, a decision that looked correct to the naked eye, only for video replays to indicate it struck him just outside the line.
Shillingford did take the crucial wicket of Watson thanks to a sharp catch above his head from Adrian Barath at short leg.
Perhaps crucially Baugh dropped Hussey on 1 denying Shillingford another wicket when the left-hander edged a quick turning delivery.
Shillingford, the pick of the West Indies bowlers with 2 for 56 from 32 overs, agrees with Watson that a score over or under 300 will tip the balance in either the tourists or the hosts' favour.
"We know the wicket's hard work so realistically we want to get them out for under 300," said Shillingford.
"It's hard to get set. Its a wicket where you really have to concentrate as well."
Australia won the first Test in Bridgetown, Barbados, largely thanks to 121 runs put on for the last two wickets in its first innings.