Aussie selectors faced with major headache ahead of T20 opener

Josh Philippe emphasised his importance to the Australian team with a standout 67 off 43 ahead of the side’s T20 opener against the West Indies.

The 24-year-old produced a stunning array of shots, including an unorthodox reverse pull shot off of a Mitch Marsh delivery.

Philippe helped Australia II to victory in its final warm-up match before the first game of the T20 series against the West Indies, with Moises Henriques also getting amongst the runs with 51* off 35.

Matthew Wade was also in good nick as he opened the batting for Australia I alongside captain Aaron Finch, posting a score of 52 from 34.

Henriques produced an unbeaten half-century in Australia’s last tune-up before the T20 series against the West Indies begins. Picture: Brett CostelloSource:News Corp Australia

Philippe emphasised the importance of getting to grips with the new conditions, describing it as “a really good challenge.”

“It’s another great practice game,” he said.

“The boys went really hard and it’s just really good to get another taste of the conditions and what they’re going to be like.

“It’s certainly a lot different to Australia.”

The Sydney Sixers wicketkeeper was also pleased to see the fruits of his labour from his training sessions.

“I’m not a massive hitter of the ball,” said Philippe.

“So it’s all about timing, hitting the gaps, and then running hard between the wickets.

“I’ve been working quite hard on that and it was nice to get a few tonight.”

Philippe impressed the most with 67 off 43 deliveries. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Mitchell Starc impressed with the white ball, mustering up figures of 3-30. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa also showcased his talents, producing a glorious wrong-un that had Wade at sixes and sevens as he was stumped.

With 18 players to choose from, along with the two travelling reserves, Australia coach Justin Langer will be licking his lips at the explosive batting potential of his side.

Finch is expected to open the batting order, while Philippe is likely to feature in the middle order.

It also creates quite the selection headache, with Langer needing to strike the right balance in a side gifted with players who are talented with both bat and ball.

Even the wicketkeeper position will be highly contested, with Alex Carey, Ben McDermott, Philippe and Wade all capable glovemen. However, Carey is most likely to operate behind the stumps in the series opener.

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