Australia West Indies Test Hobart: Adam Voges And Shaun Marsh Dominate Day One

10/12/2015 2:08 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Here's a sneaky cricket trivia question to ponder after the first day's play in the Test between the West Indies and Australia at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Which current Australian batsman has the highest batting average? It's not Steve Smith or David Warner, both of whom average comfortably in excess of 50. Neither is it either Marsh brother, although Shaun has had himself a rare good day in the office, amassing 139 not out. It was his third Test century -- and a good one at that.

But the Australian batsman with the highest average in the current team? It's the guy nobody ever talks about much. The guy who is no kid's favourite player, and who doesn't even have a nickname that anyone outside the team is aware of.

adam voges

If empty blue seats could applaud, we promise you they would

That man is Adam Voges, the 36-year-old late bloomer who has made an excellent 174 not out today. Voges' knock was reassuringly calm but it was also fluent. It was unhysterical yet it was also entertaining. When he brought up his 150 with a reverse sweep, he somehow made an audacious feel really normal. Only good players do that. Voges, we can now say for sure, is a really good player.

His average proves it too. It's a whopping 68.91 after day one and heading north, but not in a Marcus kind of way. Marcus North, you'll recall, was another WA player who made his Australian Test debut in his 30s. North averaged 50 after six Tests, but his average soon fell away, ending up at a mediocre 35 after his 21st and last Test.

Voges is never going to have a 100 Test career. He's 36 already, an age at which Ricky Ponting's powers had well and truly begun to fail him, and a cricketing age which Michael Clarke never reached. But however long it lasts, you sense his career won't finish with him averaging 35. He just seems too confident at the crease for that.

Dave Warner was grumpy as hell when he got out on the stroke of lunch today for 64 off a really cheap legside dismissal. Steve Smith and Joe Burns copped just about the only two unplayable balls of the day, which was a shame for them. But this cricket fan didn't mind watching some different faces help compile a team total of 3/438 against a meek West Indies attack.


Jomel Warrican. Now there's a name you hadn't heard before today's first Test between Australia and the West Indies, if this story is anything to go by.

But Warrican is currently making life all sorts of uncomfortable for Australia. First he spun Australian captain Steve Smith out with this absolute nectarine of a ball. Such balls are usually named peaches, but nectarines are superior to peaches, right?

He then removed Dave Warner on the stroke of lunch with a comparatively innocuous ball which the dangerous opener feathered down the leg side to the keeper.

jomel warrican

Not happy, Jomel.

So who is this unheralded West Indian spinner who may yet cause all sorts of carnage in this match? Jomel Worrican is a 23-year-old Barbadian off spinner playing just his second Test. His first Test was in the series against Sri Lanka in October, when he took six wickets in a losing cause.

Like many debutants in the current era of West Indian cricket, Warrican didn't have much in the way of senior experience before being elevated to international duties. He did, however, amass a decent record in the West Indies regional four-day cricket competition -- which is the rough equivalent of Australia's Sheffield Shield -- snaring 72 wickets from 17 matches at an excellent average of 18.

He seems like a nice guy. After taking his first Test wicket with a full toss, he said: "It wasn't a perfect ball to be honest". No doubt he'd say the same of today's Warner delivery, but they all count.

"As a man I rate myself very hard. It was still a good feeling, but not the feeling I've been looking for -- if it had been a better ball," Warrican went on to tell the website ESPNcricinfo after that debut wicket.

He remained extremely modest about his overall performance on his first day of Test cricket, which ended with a four wicket haul. He called the day "average". If four wickets in a day does indeed turn out to be average, look out world.

On being presented with his debut West Indies cap, West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers told Warrican that he had many games to come. We'll see. But he's certainly started well.

Australia now enters recovery mode in the middle and afternoon sessions of the Test, having been 3/121 at lunch.

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