New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd Test, Wellington

WI bullish after Dunedin fightback

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan in Wellington

December 9, 2013

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

December 11-15, 2013, Wellington
Start time 10.30am (2130GMT previous day)

Kane Williamson raises his bat after hitting his fourth Test century, Bangladesh v New Zealand, 1st Test, Chittagong, day 1, October 9, 2013
Kane Williamson will replace Aaron Redmond at No. 3 after recovering from a thumb injury © AFP
Related Links

The Big Picture

Dunedin ended as one of those Tests that would take some explaining if one day we find life on another planet: five days of sweat and toil, then it rains and everyone troops off with a draw. Yet it was also a terrific example of what makes Test cricket so brilliant. There were two double centuries, some artful swing bowling, some skillful spin, some terrific catches and some drops, plus just a little bit of controversy.

After two-and-a-half days of being comprehensively outplayed there was a fear that, like in India, West Indies would not provide much of an opposition. Now they have shaken off the jetlag, chipped off the rust and - apart from the odd cold - started to get used to New Zealand weather. While New Zealand skulked out of Dunedin frustrated and bemoaning their luck, West Indies had a spring in their step not only because the rain saved them but also because they helped save themselves.

Now, though, they need to play as they did for the second half of that Test all over again - and from the start. Consistency is what coach Ottis Gibson and captain Darren Sammy are striving for, to make performances of Darren Bravo's ilk more the norm than the surprise.

They remain second-favourites in this series, largely due to the problems in their pace-bowling attack. The quicks are likely to get a pitch to help them in Wellington, but it remains to be seen whether Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel and maybe Sheldon Cottrell have the patience and skill to exploit them. Sammy, seemingly recovering well from his injury, could be the man best suited.

In the corresponding Test against England in March, following another long spell in the field in Dunedin, New Zealand were slow starters (it is the last time England reached 400 in a Test). There may be a little bit of neither the batsmen or the bowlers really wanting first use of the pitch, one lot because it could move all over the place and the second because of their workload. Some spicy pitches, though, are just what Test cricket needs.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

New Zealand DDDLL
West Indies DLLWW

Watch out for

Trent Boult bowled some superbly skillful spells in Dunedin - he also bowled a lot of overs. Both in Dunedin and early in the year Auckland his efforts with the ball have deserved more than a draw. He wants a chance to rekindle the team song. "The boys are always eager to sing that and a handful of guys haven't actually sung that song yet." Boult has shown the ability to swing the ball when others struggle; in helpful conditions he could be lethal.

Darren Sammy came into the first Test under significant pressure after a poor series in India and he responded impressively with bat and ball. Before his injury he was the most consistent West Indies seamer and his 80 in the second innings was a vital part of saving the Test. On flat pitches he is not a third-seamer in Test cricket, but if the Wellington surface offers some help for those who find a consistent line and length he may just be the man.

Team news

Kane Williamson scored 140 in a Hawke Cup match over the weekend and came through the bowling and fielding aspects of the outing. He will replace Aaron Redmond at No. 3. Elsewhere it is likely to be as-you-were with Brendon McCullum favouring a balanced attack.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Hamish Rutherford, 2 Peter Fulton, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt), 6 Corey Anderson, 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Ish Sodhi, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

West Indies' pace-bowling options are limited. Shannon Gabriel was poor in Dunedin but Sammy suggested that they will show faith in him. Apart from Kieran Powell all the batsmen made at least one contribution in the first Test although Denesh Ramdin needs to produce more at No. 7.

West Indies (probable) 1 Kieran Powell, 2 Kirk Edwards, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Shane Shillingford, 10 Tino Best, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Pitch and conditions

It's green. How green it remains on Wednesday morning will be the key factor. Often there is the promise of more than actually eventuates. Either way, the captain winning the toss is almost certain to bowl. The forecast, as often for Wellington, is mixed with the first day set to be perfect but the risk of some rain later in the match. All the more reason for a lively pitch.

Stats and trivia

  • Craig McMillan, the former New Zealand batsman, was drafted into the current set-up as a batting coach for the two warm-up days to this Test as Bob Carter was away at a wedding.

  • New Zealand have not won a Test at the Basin Reserve in their last seven attempts since thrashing Bangladesh in 2008. In 2006 they beat West Indies by 10 wickets.

  • New Zealand have two more chances to avoid 2013 being only the third time they have not won a Test in a calendar year having played at least 10 matches.


"We've seen some very good spinners come to New Zealand in recent history and it's not necessarily a place where they really prosper. I wouldn't be too upset if they played two spinners. I would be very surprised if they did."
Having looked at the pitch, Brendon McCullum would like to be confronted with two spinners

"I think they were playing their best cricket and yet still they didn't get the victory they deserved. We are keen to put pressure on them."
Darren Sammy has taken plenty of encouragement from his team's fightback in Dunedin

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

No macullum Cant sit out he is a type of playr which can take a loosing game to a winning position . I am big fan of ryder But still The macullum is a world class playr one of the best ones.

Posted by regofpicton on (December 10, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

I cannot imaging a worse solution to the "problem" of draws than John McLean's D/L variant. Don't you follow test cricket John? Draws are NOT a problem. They are one of the great features of the game. Just have a look at the article "Its a draw" posted on cricinfo only a couple of days ago.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

So Sammy and Gibson think a green pitch will improve their two worst westindies bowlers. And leave out their best bowler. (Narine) I mean this is just painful for a die hard westindies fan. I foresee this test with serious disappointment toward our fast bowlers and some more brutal attacks toward Sammy when they come out to bat! Because I am sure Bravo is not hungry enough to go for back to back double tons! Narine should had played instead of Narsingh. They shoulda went a batsman short and attacked with these two deadly bowlers. (shane&Narine) As shane warne said if it seams it spins.

Posted by AvmanM on (December 10, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

Being saved by rain does not = fightback.

Posted by on (December 10, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

WI have to play two front-line spinners + Deonarine as a third option regardless of the pitch. The medium pacers will get the same treatment as Dunedin.

Posted by heavy_cav_1066 on (December 10, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

As stated in the article, Deonarine's inclusion would probably mean the West Indies going in with the same balance of the bowling attack as in the last game - three seamers and two spinners. Bad luck for Sunil Narine, but playing on a green pitch with just two seamers would mean bringing a spinner in to bowl within the first hour. Is Braithwaite available for selection or does Kieran Powell get another game?

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

rain is part of the lacks depth. in the bowling

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

This my piece for this game: Their effort at Dunedin was resolute and the game ended with a draw after incessant rainfall ended proceedings prematurely but the next and penultimate test between West Indies and New Zealand promised to be fascinating at Wellington from Wednesday, tonight Caribbean time. Both teams have expressed deep confidence of doing well since their batsmen and bowlers churned out excellent performances in the first-test encounter. The travelling team West Indies can once again count on their experienced and inform batsmen to take up the mantle. A maiden double-century from Darren Bravo changed the complexion of that match after the hosts dominated things for a huge portion of the contest. New Zealand would have been indebted to two of their stalwarts, Ross Taylor for his magnificent double ton and skipper Brandon McCullum, who fashioned a century too. Curators have prepared a rather unusual pitch, which seems saturated with green grass. Forward short-leg?

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Narine needs to play for Gabriel. WI needs wickets.

Posted by hokeypokey on (December 10, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

Fancy blaming the rain for not making it over the should bowled them out on lacked the killer instinct, no pressure on the batsmen,..@22many may mccmillian has the lastest metservice app on his phone..teams weather man.

Posted by Gagg on (December 10, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

PACERONE our number 11 has a test half century and an average of 16, you are deluded if you think this pop gun WI bowling line up would of gotten 6 for 20 odd. The rain did rob us but it shouldn't have come to that.

Posted by sharadgargconnect on (December 10, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

I think it is high time for NZ to beat teams like WI, SL and India especially in their home. NZ used to be one of the worlds best odi team under Astle, Fleming, Bond, Styris, Hadlee and Cairns. But they now look at them, they can be beaten by even Nepal. (Nepal has qualified for T20 World Cup). NZ should play their best 11 in test matches such as Brenden Mccullum, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Rob Nicol and Latham. Batting is their key. If they can score runs they can win any test match. They have excellent fast bowlers like Franklin, McCallaghan, Southee and Boult. They can finish games very quicky. All are allrounders as well. Also, NZ should play same team in test matches and in one dayers. This gives them more time to adapt and perform well every time. NZ should play team to beat WI in remaining tests rather than to find new players. Their psychology should be more towards winning games.

Posted by legendscricket on (December 10, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

Who is responsible for clearing the players for their return to fitness? Is it the Coach, The Physio or in the case of The Captain -THEN WHO? Darren Sammy will most likely play in this match, very little is being said about his fitness level,plenty about Rampauls.QUITE rightly so if he is not maintaining his fitness.[I am puzzled when I hear of or read of stories of professionals being paid to play in any sports not being fit].Sammy has a deep passion to play, If he is allowed to hop on one leg, he is the type of Man who will. I am urging and appealing to the Good sense of those responsible, Including SAMMY himself to be 100% fit before they return to WEST INDIES cricket.THERE are players available to take the field when anyone becomes ill.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 10, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

Cotrell and Narine must play for Gabriel and Samuels/Sammy it's like they have forgot NZ hit over 600 after being put in cos they managed to selvage a draw due to 1 freak innings and rain without Bravo's innings it was a 3rd innings defeat in a row ! I cannot believe they will field the same 11 surely not . . .

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

Where is Narine?Deonarine?Please!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

I'm vey surprise to learn that West Indies will be fielding an unchanged 11. I thought Gabriel looked quite jaded in the first test, and was so ineffective that e wou;d have been replaced by the very eager Cottrell. That would have been my obvious change, as long as Sammy passed his fitness test.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

My squad.. K.Edwards.S.Chanderpaul.D.Bravo.M.Samuels.N.Deonaraine.D.Sammy .C.Walton.S.Naraine.S.Shillinford.S.Cotreal.T.Best.....

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

The batting though not to mark has shown some improvements. Distress resides heavily in the bowling.The pacers have been struggling.Tino the better still hasn't done much,Gabriel is in at sea.No team with such weaknesses is capable for test matches. At the moment it's a disgrace to the greatest format of the game.I still think some thought should be given to Sunil Narine.

Posted by PACERONE on (December 10, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Why do people keep saying that NZ was robbed of a win by rain?NZ should be relieved that they were not embarrassed by losing.They lost 4 wickets cheaply and that could of happened again..this is cricket and nothing is for sure.England lost 6 wickets for 9 runs.No one would of thought that possible.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

LOL @22many... McMillan is the current Canterbury batting coach too... so he has not come in entirely from the cold. He is also a better thinker of batting than he would be as a technical example (how he played may be clouding your thoughts, but you should also recall that he averaged well over 40 in test cricket and the guy could bat... On the actual test looming in a few hours, New Zealand 'should' win, but I still groan a bit at the balance of the side without McCullum keeping, and they will indeed be tired... But my main concern is mental toughness and killer instinct. I stated as they came out to bat in the fourth innings that McCullum should open with Rutherford, with Andersen first drop and they should go at four an over to be safe...they went at 2.83 RR for 30 overs and lost by 30 runs. Disappointing as rain was always coming. They must learn to fight harder when it is hardest to do so. They are 'TEST' matches for a reason. We gotta lift on day 5 and sleep when we are dead.

Posted by everfaithful77 on (December 10, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

I would be really surprised if West-Indies went in with the same bowling unit that were BELTED all over the place in the 1st test CONCEDING OVER 600 RUNS or have they forgotten ?? It's clear that GABRIEL needs alot of work to improve at this level. So why play him ahead of NARINE who perplexed the Kiwis that included their 2 century makers in the last series and which West-Indies won 2-0. DESPITE THE COMMENTS MADE BY THE CAPT McCULLUM I think New-Zealand would rather not having to face SHILLINGFORD & NARINE in tandem. Windies batting unit looks good although POWELL was a bit disappointing. I like his agressive style but he needs to temper his batting to enable much longer innings. However the selectors should continue to have faith in him because he has enormous talent. So does Kraigg BRATHWAITE who will get his chance but must be kept in the test team. The selectors may also consider playing COTTRELL instead of DEONARINE but that would be harsh considering his cucial half-century.

Posted by huttse96 on (December 10, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

good i like gabriel! he can bowl he proved this in england last year he has got good pace i think hell suprise alot of ppl one thing i might add is drop radmin for baugh and bring in simmons for deonarine i think too much is resting on bravo and chanderpaul at the moment. kirk edwards is not a born opner but his a fighter and i like him

Posted by calcu on (December 10, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

NZ would have won the 1st test had it not rained and they will win this match, if it doesnt rain.

Posted by alesana85 on (December 10, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

Really looking forward to this contest, taking time off work to watch this match at the basin. Interesting to see how Kane Williamson goes on his return & to see if the Windies do play 2 spinners. Hoping to see Narine play live. Hoping to see a NZ test victory.

Posted by b4u8me2 on (December 10, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

I wonder how Cottrell feels. While they are showing faith in Gabriel they are showing a lack of faith in Cottrell. He got selected to India and Gabriel only came into the side as a replacement for Roach. Yet Cottrell is the one sidelined after just one test. Gabriel ha played two tests and produced nothing. Why is Cottrell being sidelined for Gabriel? Did they lose faith in Cottrell after just one match? Yet they wonder how they shatter the confidence of young talent players and wonder why they dont go on to do well.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

I suggest that a form of D/L method be applied in these situations also in test, simply because powers that be must understand that we must implement rules to keep fans tuned in, something like who scored faster or which team made more runs etc,etc,if that was the case with rain looming, Ross Taylor & Company would have had to go after the bowling ie. taking more risk(bat against ball) more excitement for the fans ,no not another T-20 style but teams would have to play with that in mind I predict something of this nature is not to far away,cricket needs to ajust as time changes,do everything it can to eliminate booooring draws.

Posted by pt_pt on (December 10, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

Should be a result in this match with 5 days of reasonable weather coming up, NZ will have the advantage with Southee and Boult swing and Williamson coming back is a big plus. Would also like to see Milne have a go in Tests, we all saw what fast bowling can do to a side, look at Johnston for AUS. Really glad its a 3 Test series.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Windies should give Brathwaite a run in Kiwi 11 ...Edwards Brathwaite Bravo Chanderpaul Samuels Deonarine Sammy Walton Shillingford Narine Best.

Posted by 22many on (December 10, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

Craig McMillian as a batting coach!!!....crikey, if they gave up listening to Crowe years ago, I hope like heck that they close your ears when this talking head comes near them. Can anyone make anything of this...first NZC allow to move John Wright on (yes the world wide sort after senior coach)...then they hire ,well, Mike Hesson..and now they appoint Mr McMillian to help out...mmm crazy times.

Posted by Sachit1979 on (December 10, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

Cottrel, Narine and Walton should be included ahead of Gabriel, Deonaraine and Ramdin. Enough of Ramdin now. He performs once in year, boasts and then asks Viv Richards to talk about it. I hope Shillingford gets clean chit for his action. He and Narine are a force in making in spin department.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (December 10, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

Snowbadger15 obviously shares simalar ideas on the third seamer and opening spot as myself so of coarse im gonna say he makes alot of sense. if the windies play two spinners on a pitch this green and win or draw it would be the worst possible result, not just because we would be behind the eight ball against the windies but because india would take note and play two spinners as well no matter what the pitch conditions because their spinners are even better than the windies. we need to win on this pitch and win well and produce the same sort of pitch when india arrive to nullify the threat of spin which is by far our biggest weakness, if we are successfull here i hope curators round the country take note.

Posted by Snowbadger15 on (December 10, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Latham should be given a crack at this west indies team which its bowling has been rather lacklustre so this is the perfect time to introduce him. Latham won't through his wicket away like Rutherford but is not as technically flawed as Fulton.

Posted by Snowbadger15 on (December 10, 2013, 2:59 GMT)

great to see Williamson back as he is easily our 2nd best batsmen after Taylor. he would have ensured that we did not collapse to 40/4 in our second innings in the first test. I would like Milne to be our third seamer as his great pace would hurry up the west indies especially their lack of footwork apart form chanderpauls. Neesham would also be a better pick than Wagner for third seamer but Milne would be the better option. hopefully McCullum can continue on from his form although I fear that his century will be a one off ton. I feel that McCullum will eat his words as Rutherford and himself are likely to throw their wickets away to spinners. But Williamson plays spin very well so he will be hoping narine also plays. With Latham in form, Fulton should be getting nervous as Latham is rapidly improving and should be in the tests opening sooner rather than later. Fulton was lucky that the west indies bowled really poorly because he was never looking really comfortable

Posted by BenGundry on (December 10, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

I would not be surprised to see Bracewell come in for Warner. A fresh set of legs could make all the difference. With the 3rd test only 4 days after the 2nd, it's hard to imagine playing the same pace attack in all tests.

Posted by Alexei on (December 10, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

I hope Sheldon Cottrell gets a chance in helpful conditions. Got his debut in Calcutta of all places and then got dropped. I've seen him swing the ball in T20 games albeit not late swing but swing nonetheless besides he's a left armer - something different, so why not? Gabriel, (although I'm still a fan of his) got his chance in relatively good conditions and didn't even threaten.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2013, 2:03 GMT)

Really not fair to kick out Redmond after 1 go

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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