Thomas the tank, Andre the giant and Sheldon the soldier

The West Indies dropped short almost every second ball for the first 18 overs. You could see Gravy dancing, hear "enjoy the licks, chin music, putting rubbish in da bin, jammin" and imagine Gus Logie at short leg.

It all started with Oshane Thomas. There's a story from the CPL a couple of years ago that an overseas player facing him in the nets had his leg stump taken out with an inswinger. He played for that the next ball, and lost his off stump to an outswinger. At no stage did this batsman think Thomas knew what he was doing, and that gave him zero comfort.

Thomas has pace, bounce and movement. He's more sawed off shotgun than sniper. It's coming fast and heavy, and no one is in control.

His first ball against Australia was five wides. A few balls later came an in-swinging no-ball yorker that David Warner barely dug out. Then he banged one short of a length outside off and it bounced like it had a personal vendetta against Aaron Finch. It wasn't a short ball. It was a vicious ball. It was to a ball like this that Finch edged behind. Not life threatening, just innings ending.

Then Usman Khawaja came in; leg gully and throat balls haunted him. Andre Russell hit him on the head in the warm-up match and here was something far more frightening: a fired up Thomas. But before he got it right, there was two wides and a half-volley. The madness before the storm. When he finally got it on target, it crashed into Khawaja's grille.

It wasn't much prettier at the other end. Warner was hanging back in his crease after facing a bouncer from Sheldon Cottrell and he spooned a catch to point. Khawaja continued to struggle, a toe-end pull shot dribbled to slip, another pull shot he wasn't in control of flew away safely.

It was the end of Thomas' spell. He'd bowled three overs for 22 runs, eight extras, eight short balls and only one wicket. But the entire thing felt like it took hours and it included a doctor coming on the field to check that Khawaja's head was still attached.

Thomas was replaced by Russell. Khawaja replaced being hit in the head for being hit in the chest.

The next ball Khawaja backed away. Now it's not unknown for modern batsmen to give themselves a bit of room to flay the ball away, usually opening up their front leg to carve. Except, on this shot, Khawaja's back leg was performing what looked like a safety flee. It was as embarrassing as the dismissal Rodney Hogg asked his wife to tape over so his son would never see it.

Khawaja gave himself enough room to fit a sectional and a snooker table. He was playing the ball from deep backward square and was lucky to get an edge. He will never want to see this shot again, or wake up sweating after dreaming of it, or be casually reminded about it by one of his mates with a bit of banter.

Glenn Maxwell came in, watched Cottrell bowl a wide, then faced a bouncer and hooked it straight up on the air. Marcus Stoinis looked composed until he tried to destroy Jason Holder with a pull shot.

Smith was the only man who looked able to handle it. He understands bowling on a metaphysical level. And even he almost lost a digit.

This team bounced England out in the Caribbean. A few days ago, they did Pakistan as well. Now it was Australia's turn. Thomas the tank, Andre the giant and Sheldon the soldier. We haven't even see Shannon the Angel yet. Pace, bounce, as glorious as it is dangerous.

West Indies bowled wides, full tosses, length balls and bouncers. They bowled lots of bouncers. Licks. Lots of licks. Lots of wickets.