New Zealand v West Indies, 3rd Test, Hamilton

NZ aim to bury brittle Windies

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

December 18, 2013

Comments: 23 | Text size: A | A
McGlashan: NZ look to seal series

Match Facts

December 19-23, 2013, Hamilton
Start time 10.30am (2130GMT previous day)

Sunil Narine is ecstatic after dismissing Mahela Jayawardene, West Indies v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Kingston, June 28, 2013
West Indies need Sunil Narine's one-day form to transfer into Test cricket © AFP

The Big Picture

It was always suspected that New Zealand would be too good against West Indies in home conditions. Then came the Dunedin fightback. Perhaps the visitors could offer a sterner challenge. Then came Wellington. No they couldn't, at least over those three days.

There is nothing to be ashamed about in losing against swing, seam and a hint of bounce, but West Indies didn't look up for the fight on the third day at the Basin save for the second-innings opening stand. That is what has frustrated Ottis Gibson the most. He wants the fight back. If you then lose to a better team, fair enough.

New Zealand are the better team in these conditions (the return series in the Caribbean next year may be different) but that gives them the added pressure of not slipping up in Hamilton. There was such a vast margin between the teams last week it's barely possible to see it happening, but it only takes one batting collapse even though they are becoming rare at home for New Zealand.

Against England they went into the final Test at 0-0 and dominated the match from start to finish only to be denied at the end. This time, they have a lead they are desperate not to surrender, but it is not Brendon McCullum's way to play defensive cricket - this is also a West Indies team on the back foot and ripe for the taking.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

New Zealand WDDDL
West Indies LDLLW

Watch out for

The only New Zealand batsman to make hundreds in three consecutive Tests is Mark Burgess - spread over nearly three years from 1969 to 1972 against three teams; Pakistan, England and West Indies. Given the form Ross Taylor has shown in this series, and the doses of fortune that have gone his way, don't bet against him achieving that feat. If Taylor can score 38 runs in this Test he will become only the third New Zealand batsman, after Andrew Jones and Glenn Turner, to make 400 runs in a three-Test series.

With Shane Shillingford suspended from bowling, Sunil Narine will make his return to the Test team. A record of 15 wickets in five matches at 48.06 does not shout out matchwinner, but at least he'll bring his tricky set of deliveries. In one-dayers, the skid he generates is a significant weapon and on a grassy surface that could be something in his favour. However, he has not bowled in a first-class match (of which he has still only played 12) since March this year when he took 10 wickets in the match against Guyana.

Team news

Brendon McCullum confirmed an unchanged XI. Corey Anderson was the one minor doubt but his shin problem isn't major. Neil Wagner is under some pressure, but an injury to Doug Bracewell and his second-innings spell in Wellington means he will keep his place.

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

Options are few-and-far between for West Indies. Narine will replace Shillingford, while Sheldron Cottrell for Shannon Gabriel is one possible switch. If they wanted to take a gamble they could still play two frontline spinners, calling in left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.

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 Sunil Narine, 10 Tino Best, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Pitch and conditions

Five of New Zealand's likely team play their domestic cricket for Northern Districts, so will know what to expect. BJ Watling, one of those, said a couple of types of surfaces have been tried this year; a drier pitch which proved pretty flat and one with more grass where the opposition were bowled out for less than 100. Perhaps something in the middle for the Test? The forecast is for most of the Test is warm and sunny.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand's previous series victory against anyone other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe came against West Indies in 2005-06

  • Tim Southee needs six wickets to reach 100 in Tests - he took six playing for Northern Districts at Hamilton in November

  • West Indies' only previous Test at Seddon Park came in 1999 when they lost by nine wickets despite an opening stand of 276 in the first innings.


"Feeling everyone experienced in the dressing room the other day after that Test win is something that people hold onto as a motivating factor every time they rock up and play another Test."
Brendon McCullum does not want the winning feeling to be a one-off

"With the new developments we have put so many different scenarios on the table so tonight we'll definitely come up with what we think will be the suitable or right mix for us before 10am when I put on my jacket and go to toss."
Darren Sammy admits there are some selection headaches

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

When India get here, you will all start to see (hopefully) that NZ is just way too good for the West Indies.... it is not that West Indies are inept (though it is somewhat true I suppose)... it is that we are better batters, bowlers, fielders, tacticians and mentally stronger to boot... this will be revealed in coming years. Sure the West Indies are in disarray, but this is also the NZ test team minus Ryder, Guptill and Neesham... three players who just make it more potent IMHO.... the West Indies (unless they pull a 180 degree turn) play dumb and bowl awful areas... whereas NZ are currently doing the opposite and carrying Fulton and Rutherford (put away the onside lofted slog off the spinner my bro) while they do so.... Fielding indicates where a team is at, and the fielding levels are worlds apart. Used to test cricket, India will be a sterner test and then some... but we will get them in the ODIs. Mark my words.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 18, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

After the last dismal performances Cotrell has to play to be given a chance in these conditions I'd still keep both Best and Gabriel and think with less load maybe they will perform better, This would be my 11 and reasons , 1 Brathwaite 2 Edwrads (I know Edwards isn't natural opener but he impressed me there last 2 games and he and fellow Bajan Brathwaite could form good partnership they've batted together many times) 3 Bravo 4 Chanderpaul (ultimatum as coach either bat 4 or don't play) 5 Powell (I think he'd be better batting lower for now, natural shotmaker that struggles v swing early) Samules and Donarine have been terrible and are not the future 6 Ramdin (although Walton deserves to play Ramdin will as he's VC and Narine is playing) 7 Sammy C 8 Narine 9 Best 10 Gabriel 11 Cotrell.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

West Indies need to find a way to include a 3rd fast bowling option not name Sammy, This is head scratching that they can't see this ,say what you will about Best he has pace but some issues if they took his catches last match who knows? Sammy need to play as batsman? and captain only. can he?. Best need help from the other end.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 18, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

Either way anything but a W.I win will seal the end of Darren Samy's reign. I just don't see how he can carry on after these 4 back to back thrashings.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (December 18, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

W.I surely aren't going to play this same sorry 11 ? Walton Brathwaite and Cotrell all deserve to play the way these guys have represented themselves.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

The absence of Roach given his test record remains a surprise, but Narine for Shillingford is an obvious change. Still think NZ will win though.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

clean up the Windies again.....hope we loose the toss again! Bring on India to complete a summer season with NO LOSSES is essential. Ryder is back for the tests so put mc Cullum upto opening (or maybe Rhyder) and give Rutherford a spell......

Posted by calcu on (December 18, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

As a NZ fan, I feel delighted. I have been waiting for this since 8 years (a Test series win against a top 8 side) and we are about to do it. Even a draw would do. Yes we can, Yes we shall, Yes we will!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

West Indies bowling department looks very week. I reckon that they should let go one special batsman to include that extra pacer. Unfortunately, I would let go Narsingh Deonarine. They haven't been able to bowl out the opposition in those conditions. Admittedly, West Indies batsmen need to step up their game tackling each inning session by session. Remember the team that wins most sessions is the one who would most likely win the test match. I am expecting our bowlers to bowl a bit fuller to trigger that late swing enticing the N.Z batsmen to go for the drive. An extra bowler won't be a bad idea in the 11 to utilize Narine's effectiveness during short bowling spells. We need to see more 100's by our special bastmen to inspire our bowlers in those conditions.

MY 11 : Braithwaite, Edwards, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Samuels, Ramdin, Sammy, Cotrell, Best, Narine, Gabriel / Deonarine.

Posted by TAJY on (December 18, 2013, 16:03 GMT)

What is wrong with Ravi Rampaul? Isn't he fit?

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

The coach, captain and players talk too much...... they must produce.

Posted by rayinto on (December 18, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

What you mean brittle West Indies? Its basically the same side except for Shillingford / Narine swap. You make it sound like 5 players had to be replaced!

Posted by everfaithful77 on (December 18, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

I really don't see why there should be any SELECTION headaches for Sammy and co. In fact the unavailability of Shillingford makes it easier to finalize the team. It's the final test so this is the perfect opportunity to have a look at the inform K. Brathwaite and Cottrell in helpful bowling conditions. Brathwaite would replace Powell who has struggled on this tour and Cottrell a left arm seamer would bring a new dimension to the Windies attack. So Windies final 11 should look like this: Brathwaie, Edwards, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Samuels, Deonarine, Ramdin, Sammy, Narine, Best & Cottrell. NARINE would definitely be a big boost to Windies bowling as he did very well against the Kiwis in the last series of 2 matches picking up 12 wkts. West Indies can feel confident that they can bounce back in final test. The team needs to take a page from the Australian team who just won the Ashes series. BE SOLID WHEN DEFENDING BUT ATTACK WHENEVER THE OPPORTUNITY COMES. ALSO TAKING EVERY RUN POSSIBLE.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (December 18, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

i know anderson is fit but i'd still love to see neesham get a go ahead of wagner, he's in good form with bat and ball, he would also lengthen our allready long batting order making it even harder for the west indies to take 20 wickets and sneak a series leveler, i know its not likely after how dominant we've been but no harm in making it even harder for them, i don't think we would lose to much in the bowling so we should still take 20 west indies wickets and win the game.

Posted by enigma12345 on (December 18, 2013, 5:46 GMT)


Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (December 18, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

The chance of Rampaul, Roach, Narine and Miller playing together with these selectors is less than being struck by lightning while holding a 20ft metal pole in a thunderstorm.

Sometimes i think Trinidad and Tobago should just form an International team by themselves with Simmons, Barath, Ganga, Lil Bravo, Dj Bravo, Pollard, Ramdin, Narine, Badree, Rampaul and Gabriel making the XI with Emrit, Pooran, Jason and Dave Mohammed, Cooper and Perkins being reserves.

Sigh...its hard to imagine but West Indies might have to go that way.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 3:45 GMT)

Some observations on New Zealands' progress, the marriage between potential challenges and delivering micro and macro solutions is evolving. Bolt has always gained pace of the pitch but had a low trajectory, it now rears up more of a good length, this has made his short ball more dangerous, as Wagners does when he is fired up, i don't know what Southees' triggers are but he doesn't always seem interested in bowling to set batsmen, but the bowlers now can give the batsmen to much to think about, causing mistakes, and a few word when required should be enough. Fulton has to set the tone for the batting order, he is trimmer since he came back, but is he switched on in the morning, his century against England was in the afternoon when he was sharp. If he can get his precision moments going early Rutherford will follow his example, and he has a good game against spin. The wickets we lost to spin in Dunedin showed some loss of bat control once in position, even with more time, can't freeze.

Posted by slasher on (December 18, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

This will be very hard for the West Indies as Southee, Boult, Anderson and Sohdi will all be bowling at their home grounds. I think this will be a great game and expect the West Indies to bounce back, but NZ have a bit of confidence and I think they will improve from Wellington to close out the series

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

Oh yeah i also want to jump on the 'where is Rampaul?' bandwagon.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

having Narine in the squad will play on the kiwis, he is a quality bowler and i think his figures don't really represent that, however that being said the overall extra effectiveness hell bring to the windies attack on the Seddon park pitch is debatable. Obviously conditions wont suit him but he is a very canny bowler with some nice variations. I just hope this isn't offset by his limits in the field. I'm hoping hes been working on that aspect of his game because as a whole the windies fielding unit craves some massive improvement.

I think all the negative comments about the state of West Indian cricket is totally undeserved. Ok they played very poorly in the last test but they fought back admirably in the first....1 bad test does not a terrible team make. Ok they got rick rolled in India but so do alot of teams. WI are ranked 6th and up until India they were on a good roll....there 2 spots higher than us so we know they have good players and must be doing something right.

Posted by zn264 on (December 18, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

New Zealand will stuff it up, we always do...but hey it's fun to watch. Looking forward to big Jess being named in the ODI squad tomorrow! BRING ON INDIA!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

If Shannon Gabriel plays, trust me I will never watch these novices

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (December 18, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

Sunil Narine will be the difference ! West Indies best bowler playing the last test of the series ! Where is his country man Rampaul ?

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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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