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West Indies in Australia, 2000-01

Once upon a time, it was the norm that a West Indian touring team would pose all kinds of headaches for Australia. Ferocious pace bowling; dazzling attacking batting; wizardry in the field: all were expected, all were produced.

But not any more.

The tourists of 2000-01 proved a shadow of Caribbean teams of the past. Summoned to join the squad as a late replacement for Shivnarine Chanderpaul, young batsman Marlon Samuels showed maturity beyond his years. Wicketkeeper-batsman Ridley Jacobs also excelled in difficult circumstances. But, in a near-complete reversal of fortunes, it was their all-conquering opponents who instead displayed the vast majority of qualities for which their predecessors had been renowned.

Under a weatherbeaten Jimmy Adamsí leadership, the West Indians were crushed in the First Test in Brisbane inside the space of three days. They surrendered, in the Second Test in Perth, the record for the most number of consecutive Test wins. In the Third Test in Adelaide, they wasted a good start. Although they somehow averted the prospect of following-on, they failed to avoid another heavy defeat in the Fourth Test in Melbourne. And then they were eventually worn down, outmuscled and overpowered in the Fifth Test in Sydney.

By contrast, the news was always good for Australia. Bowling spearhead Glenn McGrath set the tone for the series when he steamrolled the touristsí top and middle order to claim match figures of 10/27 in Brisbane. Just for good measure, he followed it with a stunning hat-trick in Perth and snared his 300th Test wicket in the process. Off spinner Colin Miller secured his first ten wicket haul in Tests in Adelaide and then Andy Bichel, Jason Gillespie and Stuart MacGill applied the finishing touches in Melbourne and Sydney. There were also runs aplenty for Michael Slater, Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh as the home team easily retained the Frank Worrell Trophy and cruised to its first clean-sweep of a five Test series in sixty-nine years.

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