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Australia brace for test by pace as West Indies pacers rekindle memories of World Cup glory
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Australia brace for test by pace as West Indies pacers rekindle memories of World Cup glory

Jason Holder's side is reviving memories of West Indies' World Cup glory days with a pace attack that has the ability to strike fear into opposition batsmen.

The two-time champions opened their campaign at the 2019 ODI showpiece by skittling out Pakistan for just 105 at Trent Bridge as their quicks made good use of the bouncer.

Oshane Thomas led the way with 4-27, while Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell and Holder provided good support as the West Indies cruised to a seven-wicket win.

Also Read: Holder urges West Indies to be positive in Australia clash

When West Indies beat Australia in the inaugural 1975 World Cup final at Lord's, their side included a four-man pace battery.

And when they defeated England four years later in another Lord's final to retain their title, the West Indies did so with the original "fearsome foursome" of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner.

Nobody is suggesting the current line-up is yet in that class but the fact they bowled Pakistan out cheaply without Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel shows that, once again, West Indies have an impressive stock of fast bowlers.

Also Read: Justin Langer hails West Indies' 'calypso cricket'

Australia, who began the defence of their title with a seven-wicket rout of Afghanistan, will pose a far sterner challenge at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

But the West Indies will take heart from the way Thomas bounced out David Warner in a warm-up match in Southampton last month.

One danger for the West Indies is that they become "bouncer happy" and use the tactic too often, with Warner and Steve Smith both more than capable of putting away any misdirected short stuff.

Also Read: Steve Waugh warns Australia to beware of West Indies threat

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has been impressed by what he has seen from the West Indies so far.

"For the first time in a long while they have fast-bowling depth," Waugh said. "Every side in this tournament will be wary of playing the Windies and I wouldn't want to face them in a knockout match.

"They are the sort of team that, if they get on a roll and build some momentum, then they could win it all."

As for a batting order in which Chris Gayle is one of several big-hitters, Waugh said: "They are the most watchable team in the tournament with a batting line-up that can kidnap any bowling attack with brute force."

Also Read: Finch expects Australia to face a 'very dangerous' West Indies

Australia, however, have plenty of pace in left-arm quick Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

Clive Lloyd, the captain of the West Indies sides that won the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, said: "Australia have got some firepower and some very good batsmen.

"We just need to see what happens when the pressure is on the West Indies, but the game against Australia should do that, as that will be a good test of where we are at."