West Indies in New Zealand 2013-14 December 8, 2013

Sammy hopes for worn out New Zealand


West Indies' epic second innings in Dunedin not only helped deny New Zealand victory in the first Test, but it may have very well also given them a significant advantage going into the next match in Wellington, having kept the home side's bowlers in the field for the best part of eight sessions.

In a scenario very similar to what New Zealand faced against England in March, their efforts to secure a win at University Oval could have a detrimental effect come the start of the second Test should they find themselves in the field first, as they did during the previous Wellington Test when England batted for five sessions.

Perhaps riding on the euphoria of having escaped with a draw in Dunedin, Darren Sammy indicated that he had not been too disappointed when Brendon McCullum enforced the follow-on on the third day in contrast to Michael Clarke's approach in Adelaide.

"After they took the last wicket in the first innings Brendon said to me as they walking out 'we are going to bowl again'. I said 'thank you very much Brendon'," Sammy said. "Their bowlers toiled and that's a lot of yards in the legs. It's going to be tough but I guess it's what we do as professionals. I guess my bowlers will be much fresher than their bowlers so hopefully we can go into the second test and they'll be a bit tired and we will be a fresher team."

McCullum admitted the workload of his frontline quicks will need to be assessed in the couple of days leading into the Wellington match. Tim Southee sent down 45 overs, Trent Boult 51 and Neil Wagner 43 during West Indies' two innings. The other aspect to factor in is McCullum's instinct to often bowl first in Tests; if the toss falls in McCullum's hands, his pace bowlers will hope the case to bat is too overwhelming to decline.

"It is a little concern," McCullum said. "They put in a tremendous amount of work over the last few days and I couldn't ask for any more than what they've given. The wicket flattened out quite a bit like we knew it would at some point.

"We didn't probably expect the West Indies to negate our bowlers as much as they did for as long as they did and you've got to give credit to them for doing so. It was a wonderful innings from Bravo and supported by a couple of other guys. The concern for us is that Wellington is in a few days' time, hopefully the wicket may have a little bit of spice in it as well, because we've seen that certainly suits our bowlers. If we do find ourselves in the park hopefully it's not for too long."

McCullum, though, indicated that he would not be swayed from putting West Indies in to bat, if he thought it was the best move on the day.

"Obviously we'll see how the guys pull up. It was a very tough workload for them, but they're young guys and they're very fit, strong and they love playing cricket for their country. I think if we do find ourselves bowling in that first session of that next Test then I don't think we'll have too many problems getting up for it, but we do have to be a little bit rational and have to think what the right thing to do at the time as well."

Both teams have selection issues to consider leading into the second Test. McCullum and Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach who confirmed an unchanged 13-man squad for Wellington, will need to ponder whether their attack needs freshening up - Hesson said the bowlers would be given a day off on Monday - and they will also need to make a decision on Kane Williamson who was ruled out of Dunedin due to a thumb injury.

Williamson has been playing a Hawke Cup match this weekend and made 140 for Bay of Plenty to suggest he is on track to replace Aaron Redmond, although Hesson said he still needed to come through a bowling and fielding stint. His offspin would also give New Zealand another bowling option, particularly useful to West Indies' left handers.

For West Indies, the central issue is the fitness of Sammy after the glute injury he picked up on the second day. He appeared to be moving more freely during his second-innings 80, but did not bowl again in the match. He did not require a scan and remained hopeful of being able to take a full part in Wellington.

If Sammy is not fit to be part of the bowling attack, it is difficult to see how he could play even though he batted impressively in Dunedin. Their pace attack remains the weakest part of their game and the only other option they have in the squad is left-armer Sheldon Cottrell. Sammy indicated that the possibility of playing two frontline spinners - Sunil Narine alongside Shane Shillingford - would be seriously considered.

"Last time New Zealand were in the Caribbean in our conditions Narine played a big part in that series as well so it's a good thing for us to have in the squad - two world class spinners that could win you a match on any day. When we get to Wellington well have a look at the pitch, I doubt that it'll be anything different, but yes, we foresee the two of them playing together in the future."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mil on December 9, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Like Gibson and some of the Selectors, Sammy, Best and Gabriel are not test cricketers. The do not know the basics. They cannot bowl 2 balls on the same spot.They spray the cricket ball. If they beat the bat one ball, the next ball goes for 4 and the pressure is off. It shows in their body language. When world class bowlers beat the bat or get their catches dropped they are encouraged. When WI bowlers are in the same position they throw their hands up, disappointed and discouraged because they do not have confidence in their ability to create another opportunity. Cummings is the best prospect I have seen in a long time. He bowled a consistent line and length with the A team in India. Rampaul on performance, and even Dwayne Bravo deserve spots before Best Sammy and Gabriel.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    My 11. Braithwaite, Edwards, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Samuels, Deodarine, Ramdin, Shillingford, Cottrell, Best, Narine/Sammy. If Sammy is available I reckon replacing him with Narine, unfortunately. It might be risky experimenting Narine on a track that seem to appear more conducive for the quicks. The dilemma arises when you take a look at his past records against New Zealand in the Caribbean. Outstanding figures! However one must realize that Narine was playing in a different conditions. Within the test squad Sammy seems to be the ultimate balance on the W.I team being the 2nd leading run scorer and also the 5th in amongst both teams. His bowling wasn't as balanced however he still managed to be more threatening than both seamers collecting a couple wickets in the 2nd innings. It is important that he plays in the next test if he is fit too. Powell you need to sit back and give Braithwaite a chance to continue to good form he has been in recently. Take a look at his Stats.

  • Douglas on December 9, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    You can even have fresher bowlers once you call up Rampaul and Roach. And Sammy, don't strain yourself, take a rest. We need you for the 1 day games. The bowling attack should really be Rampaul, Roach, Narine and Shillingford. Now that's a bowling attack,

  • Stephen on December 9, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    If Sammy is unfit for WI, I agree they should play two spinners, however they need a 3rd seam bowling option also.

    They should draft Dwayne Bravo into the test squad and bring Dwayne, Cottrell & Narine in at the expense of the injured Sammy, Gabriel & Samuels.

    1. Edwards 2. Powell 3. Da Bravo 4. Deonarine 5. Chanderpaul 6. Dw Bravo 7. Ramdin 8. Cotrell 9. Shillingford 10. Narine 11. Best

    Best & Cottrell can open, Dwayne Bravo first change, twin spin of Shillingford & Narine and part time spin of Deonarine gives them options.

    For New Zealand Williamson if fit should certainly come in for Redmond, and please let's bring Jesse Ryder back for Anderson. I'd also love to see either Adam Milne or Matt Henry come in for Wagner, but can't see that happening.

  • o on December 9, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    The problem for W.I is they're not going to take 20 wickets even with a fit Sammy bowling first change. They need to play all 3 pacers or the 2 spinners with Best and Cotrell. People critiquing Best obviously didn't watch the game he was the only pace bowler to really cause problems and he had the top 5 jumping on another day the edges from Taylor and McCullum would have carried or not gone over the slips he's a strike bowler you know he's going to go for few runs the problem is there is no pressure from the other end.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    D only person we dont want from that squad is best.narine must play.lol like sammy only bat good injured lol hope this injury makes him learn to bat.still shouldnt b test capt.

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    West indies needs to bowling attach capable of taking 20 wickets. Best, is not a test bowler, nor should be called a cricketer, for he has demonstrated again his inability to think and play team cricket. Gabriel, as Ian Bishop suggested is learning to bowl. If this is true, then he should not be playing test cricket. No comment on Sammy's ability to take out the opposition. I will venture to say that neither Cottrell, nor Holder has what it takes to deliver at this level. neither men demonstrated any understanding nor ability to "work a batsman into playing a false shot". Tino best should consider a place in the Barbados screen actors guild. My conclusion is that there is not bowling strategy, or the men simply are not listenning and applying what is required. Compare their performances to a stock broker who has to do what the investor wants. If he does not follow andimplement those instructions he is fired. Why not fire Best, Gabriel, Sammy?

  • Dennis on December 8, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    I wish Best, Gabriel and Sammy knew how to swing the ball consistently. To be honest, all of the NZ's seam bowlers with the exception of boult bowl about the same speed as sammy but they look WAY more dangerous because they get lots of movement. We have two guys firing the ball down at 140kph+ and getting no movement and to top it off, they can't bowl a consistent line and length. Then Sammy, who I like, he himself doesn't swing the ball either so has to rely on a predictable line and length. We need to do better or we'll always be reliant on the same two bowlers. We should be able to have anyone in there and get the same or similar results from our bowling attack ideally.

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    What bowlers?, there are only two test quality bowlers for the West Indies playing in NZ right now and they are both spinners. So they can get all the rest they need, being fresh will not be an advantage and is not the real issue. Its start with team selection and putting runs on the board. Otherwise Sammy will eat his words once again. Apparently the WI fast bowlers of old need to open a fast bowling school..

  • Sharad on December 8, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    i think NZ should prepare fast wickets. They should prevent teams from subcontinent to put up batting display. This makes the competition interesting. NZ is a good side. They just need to use common sense. They have their best chance in odis. They should open with Williamson and Brendon Mccullum and use dashers like devchich, franklin and nathan mccullum in slog overs. They should use players who are already developed rather than blood new comers in odi. I think they can win T20 world cup.

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