It will be bitter, following the decision to allow left-handed opener Matthew Hayden to return home, after his damaged right Achilles tendon failed to respond to treatment.
Hayden will pursue further treatment options after he visits specialists on his return home, but this immediately casts a burden of responsibility on the left-handed pair of Phil Jaques and Simon Katich at the top of the batting order.
Australia would be anxious for them come to the grips with the job, considering the perceived potency of the West Indies new-ball attack which could comprise two of either Jerome Taylor, Fidel Edwards, or Daren Powell.
Katich, Hayden's replacement, scored 12 and one, and Jaques made 9 and four, as the twi shared partnerships of 18 and five.
"In both innings (in Jamaica), we lost wickets early and to be four down for 18 in the second innings was a worry," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.
"But there was some good bowling in there. It was a situation where it was an unsettling sort of time to have to bat, only an hour left in the [fourth] day's play, just trying to get through the session rather than playing your natural game.
"But I think that showed that the West Indies bowling attack is going to be dangerous, especially with the new ball. If we can get through this, we should be okay."
For a couple of reasons, the second Test will be sweet for Australia.
First, they lead the three-Test series 1-0, after they completed a 95-run victory in the opening Test last Monday at Sabina Park in Kingston, and know that a victory would see them wrap up the series.
The other reason for Australia to rejoice is that though Hayden may be leaving, Michael Clarke has arrived following his delayed departure, after he was given compassionate leave to grieve with his fianc©e following the death of her father.
He will slot into his usual role in the middle-order and the visitors expect him to fortify their batting.
"Michael Clarke will be fine for the Test, and if we do have him, we should be pretty hard to beat," Ponting said.
West Indies too, have been boosted for the Test with the return of regular captain Chris Gayle and key fast bowler Taylor.
Gayle returns to the side after being sidelined with a groin injury for the first Test which Taylor also missed with a sore back contrary to earlier reports of a stiff shoulder.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, the West Indies captain for the first Test, felt the home team played well throughout the Test match.
"The bowlers bowled well especially in the second innings, and they gave the batters an opportunity to actually get a total that we could have batted and win the game, but unfortunately it didn't happen that way," he said.
"It's really good for us, and I hope we can keep it up and get better in second Test," he added.
West Indies came close to an upset victory, but then gave up the ghost on the final day when chasing 287 for victory, they were all out for 191.
Sarwan identified the aim now is for West Indies to play positively and keep the pressure up under Australia if they are to have any chance of winning.
"I think we've got to be positive, we've got a lot to take from the first Test," he said.
"We had Fidel Edwards bowling very well, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul's hundred in which I thought he showed a lot of determination, and it's important that we take a page out of the way they approached things, and we have to continue to be positive."
The VRCG is hosting its inaugural Test, after it was constructed as a gift to Antigua and Barbuda from China ahead of the World Cup last year in the Caribbean.
Both sides will hope that the pitch will offer much more than the featherbed a few miles down the road at the Antigua Recreation Ground, where international cricket in the island lived for more than two decades and Brian Lara twice established the record for the highest Test score, and national hero Sir Vivian stroked the previous fastest Test hundred.
Australia have now won 13 of the last 14 Tests they have contested against West Indies and will seek to stamp their authority.
They hold the Frank Worrell Trophy - symbol of Test supremacy against West Indies - and they have not lost a Test series in the Caribbean since 1991.
The third and final Test between the two sides starts on June 12 at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
The Aussies also contest a Twenty20 International and five One-day Internationals on this trip.
West Indies (from): Chris Gayle (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (vice captain), Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Xavier Marshall, Runako Morton, Brenton Parchment, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.
Australia (from): Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice captain), Doug Bollinger, Beau Casson, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Brad Hodge, Mike Hussey Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Ashley Noffke, Andrew Symonds.
Umpires: Mark Benson, Russell Tiffin. TV Replays: Clancy Mack. Reserve: Norman Malcolm.
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama.