Windies v Australia: Rogers injury skews visitors’ Ashes prep

While England look certain to see out their final day of Test match cricket before the start of the Ashes with defeat to New Zealand, Australia are experiencing headaches of their own before a ball has even been bowled in their pre-amble series with the West Indies.

Chris Rogers, the calming influence on David Warner’s million-mile-an-hour style at the top of the batting order, has been ruled out of the first Test in Dominica after suffering concussion from a blow to the head in the nets.

That means an Australian batting order that has been shuffled more times than a Vegas two-deck is set for more upheaval, with Shaun Marsh moving up to open with Warner and Steven Smith slotting in at number three.

The changes means a window of opportunity for Adam Voges, most recently captaining Middlesex in the County Championship, to make his Test match debut at the age of 35.

The Perth lad received a call-up to the Test squad after a profitable domestic campaign Down Under and will be looking to nail down an Ashes spot with a strong showing against Denesh Ramdin’s side. He is 8/1 to be Australia’s top first innings runscorer.

For the hosts, a progression from the drawn series with Alastair Cook’s England is expected as the side continue to grow accustomed to new coach Phil Simmons’ methods.

All three of the Windies’ previous victories over the Aussies have come at home, although those wins have come from 14 attempts since 1998.

Ladbrokes make them a 7/1 outsider for victory in Dominica and they will need to find a new batting lynchpin after Shivnarine Chanderpaul was dropped from the squad.

Australia, who have won nine of the last 14 battles with the West Indies as visitors, are rated as 4/9 favourites for the victory, with the draw at 11/4.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.