Sixes go missing as Aussies ‘well below our best’

More boundaries and better batting plans are on the immediate agenda for Australia’s floundering T20 team that has now lost seven of its last 10 matches and is running out of chances to improve before this year’s World Cup.

A third straight loss to the West Indies in St Lucia on Tuesday came after a withering blast from veteran powerhouse Chris Gayle, who showed the Aussies what T20 hitting is all about.

His seven sixes, which took him past 14,000 T20 runs, were one more than the entire Aussie outfit has managed in three games, all defeats, with two more games in the West Indies and then five in Bangladesh to try to right the ship.

Through the series the home team has belted 29 sixes to Australia’s six, showing the intent the tourists have lacked in three below-par batting efforts.

“We’ve been looking at that,” said Australian captain Aaron Finch, who hit his first boundaries for the series on Tuesday.

“It’s not through lack of intent.

“We would’ve liked more runs no doubt and that comes down to the top order not going through.

“If one of your top four is there towards the back end, I think naturally you put pressure on the opposition bowlers, especially with just your presence.

“Same as the other games, we just haven’t had the top order go on deep in the innings.

“No doubt we’ve been below our best. We started well with the ball, so there’s still some positives there and hopefully we keep improving.”

Finch also conceded that some days you just “come up against great players and they have a day out” in reference to the masterclass from 41-year-old Gayle.

Wow. Seven sixes in Chris Gayle's innings of 67 today takes him over the 14,000-run mark in Twenty20 cricket 🤯 #WIvAUSpic.twitter.com/Q8FvQ04xLh

Always talk of needing flexibility with the batting order for T20 cricket. But @windiescricket have shown in this #WIvAUS series that they have batsmen up to No 8 who can bat anywhere & be equally destructive in each position. A nightmare for any opposition to plan for

Australia dropped Josh Philippe and Ben McDermott, along with spinner Ashton Agar, hoping Ashton Turner and Alex Carey could find some more runs for their team.

They combined for 37 runs from 31 balls, hitting four boundaries between them. Riley Meredith, in for Agar as Australia turned to pace, took 3-48 and felt the full wrath of Gayle, who hit him out of the ground with a 97m six.

Veteran all-rounder Moises Henriques, who topscored with 33 and hit Australia’s only two sixes for the game at Darren Sammy Stadium, ruled out “rust’ for some players who are playing off a long break.

He said the batsmen just had to adapt better to the conditions and improve, fast.

“I don’t feel like I am shedding away any rust or underdone,” Henriques said.

“We had two practice games before the series started. I don’t think it’s that.

“We haven’t played as group for quite some time, maybe we are still feeling that out a little bit.

“But it’s no excuse, we have to play better than we have.”

The two teams will clash again in the fourth game on Thursday morning, and Henriques said there was still a lot to play for.

“We know we should be performing, we know we should be doing better than we are,” he said.

“There are still two games to go in this series that I am going to be doing everything I can to win, to improve our performances, and to get more out of everyone who is playing.”

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