New Zealand v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Queenstown December 31, 2013

West Indies chase unassailable series lead


Match facts

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
1100 (2200 GMT previous day)

Big Picture

The washout at Napier has effectively consigned this to a four-match series. A win for West Indies will give them an unassailable 2-0 lead so the pressure increases on New Zealand to win the next three games to seal the series. New Zealand may not have made rapid strides as a Test side in 2013 but, as a one-day unit, surprised the likes of South Africa and England in their own backyard. They were comfortable in conditions replicating home, like the two previously stated countries, but fell woefully short in Bangladesh. After dominating the Tests against West Indies, they took their eye off the ball at Eden Park. Though their bowlers made West Indies huff and puff, their batsmen know they can't get complacent.

West Indies endured a woeful 2013 in comparison, having won only nine ODIs out of 24, losing 13. The jury's still out on the split-captaincy policy with Dwayne Bravo not delivering the results expected, even at home. Their opening bowlers finally hit their straps at Eden Park but the batsmen have continued to blow hot and cold. They are without Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo (who flew back home for personal reasons), which makes their job harder. It might also leave them depending more on their bowling attack to win them matches. Their batsmen will hope for more batting friendly conditions in Queenstown, preferably a pitch as flat as the airport runway at one end of the ground, to get some confidence back. A good start in probably the most picturesque holiday destination in the country is not a bad way to usher in the new year.

Form guide

New Zealand LLWLL(last five completed matches)
West Indies WLWLL

In the spotlight

It has been a modest start for Luke Ronchi in his second coming as an international cricketer, this time for New Zealand. He is yet to score a fifty and averages under 16 in 11 games. With Brendon McCullum not keeping wicket, Ronchi's main competitor in one-dayers is BJ Watling. Ronchi had a chance to play a rescue-effort type knock after New Zealand were wobbling at 57 for 5 at Eden Park but failed, falling for 7. Ronchi, however, isn't worrying yet about retaining his place in the World Cup squad next year. "I haven't played enough international cricket to think if I look a year in advance where I could be," Ronchi was quoted in New Zealand Herald. "I want to make the most of every opportunity and if I think too far ahead it's all going to go horrendously wrong."

Kieran Powell scored two half-centuries in the ODI series in India, but he hasn't carried his form into New Zealand. His Test series was nothing short of a disappointment, with a highest score of 36. Starting out as a Test opener, Gayle's absence has given him an opportunity in the shorter formats too. He failed in Auckland, scoring 4. The next three games will be a chance for Powell to make a bid to retain his place even when West Indies return to a full strength line-up.

Team news

Tim Southee is back in the squad after recovering from a toe surgery, and though the coach Mike Hesson initially marked him to return for the fourth ODI in Nelson, he didn't rule out a comeback for Queenstown. Hesson was impressed with Southee's progress at the nets, leaving the door open for selection. Should Southee return, Adam Milne might have to wait longer for his first appearance in an ODI on home soil, having been denied by the weather in Napier.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt), 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi, (wk), 8 James Neesham/Tim Southee/Adam Milne, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Mitchell McClenaghan, 11 Kyle Mills

West Indies will have one forced change, with Darren Bravo returning home. Kirk Edwards, who was in fine form with the A side in India, could get an opportunity.

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Kirk Edwards, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Narsingh Deonarine, 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Jason Holder 11 Ravi Rampaul

Stats and trivia

  • Rain had the final say in the last two games in Queenstown, one of which was a New Zealand-West Indies clash
  • Of the six completed games at the venue, New Zealand won five. In their most recent win, they bundled out Bangladesh for 93 and chased it down in just six overs
  • Kyle Mills is the leading wicket-taker for New Zealand in this squad with 230 wickets. The next highest is Nathan McCullum with 43


"We'll see what the wicket's like in Queenstown, and if it looks like it's got a bit of pace and bounce in it, then he's a really good option of us."
Mike Hesson on the chances of Adam Milne playing

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jared on January 1, 2014, 1:17 GMT

    geez forget the game at hand these might as well be the chanderpaul debate pages. for my two cents worth he should be in the team, its not like someone better is keeping him out, for all saying forget him and look to the future, why not look to the future after the world cup which is only a year away, surely you want your best players for that, then say thanks for your services and look to some youth then. as for the nz side of things, its pretty much a do or die game so if southee is fit he must play, hoping for a game but if not, why not a reserve day tomorrow its not like the players have got somewhere to be same should of been done in napier.

  • Harrinarine on January 1, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    Tampa bay just fire the coach and GM regardless of contract. WI should take notes... I too support Chanderpaul playing ODI's. In another era, Gibson would have been taken to the back and shot... Sorry about that, Happy New Years...

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Neesham is a better bowler, batter and fielder than Milne. So, even as a bowler, you should be playing him ahead of Milne. To understand that this is commonsense one only needs eyes. Lots of comments about the Windies too.... who cares? Barring rain, you are about to be thrashed 3-1. Move along, nothing to see here.

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Gibson & Co.have psychologically and purposely damaged the team.Chanderpaul is still among the best batsmen in the world.It was recently revealed that Chanderpaul averaged about 70, from the last 48 or 50 so test matches. It was further noted that the highest average of all other batsmen in the same number of test matches and same period was in the 50s.What a talent that is being squandered.Gibson & Co had wanted him to stop playing a long time ago.It seems as though this team personally belongs to some people.What age has to do?You don't even have a batsman in WI to lace Chanderpaul's boots.Swallow your foolishness and play him in the OD.

  • stewey on December 31, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    rain rain go away....

  • Geoff on December 31, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    Forecast is for occasional showers clearing by evening. Current rain radar is fine around Queenstown but it sits under a shallow trough of low pressure with a couple of fronts around.

  • Ali on December 31, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    @ Naresh Pitamber

    Sarwan was dropped for a VERY GOOD Reason ...

    in the last 2 ODI's he played (both World Cup games) . with WI chasing and needing quick runs to win , Sarawan batted slowly and took no risks to protect his average , instead of winning the games .....

    so YES he has a nice health average in ODI ... but he will not pick up the pace to help you win...

    Sarawan would rather come n.o. in a 50 over loss than get out trying to win the game .....

    Playing for Test cricket in a World Cup ODI game that your team NEEDS to win..

    is a VERY good reason to be dropped from ALL formats ....

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Forecast pretty average. Rain. Then more rain for Nelson game and Hamilton game.

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    Sarwan ave over 40 in ODI and still he is not good for Gibson 11. Chanderpaul ave 42.1 still he was dropped by Gibson.......only in WI

  • Mark on December 31, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    @wirus - what has age got to do with it? Fans and media alike seem to start talking about cricketers retiring as soon as they get to their early 30's. It's certainly not as if Chanderpauls batting form has slumped and I've seen nothing to suggest his fielding is below par. The concept of bringing through young players for the future would have more credence if WI had a core of good batsmen who could mentor new players. Sadly most of them would struggle to get a spot in other international teams.

    It sends out a bad message if you just select players on promise and also forces good players into early retirement. It used to be that you had to earn a place in an international team and new players had to work to force their way into a side. Now it just seems to be that if you can put on pads and hold a bat you get a shot. NZ started going down this path in the late 80's and spent many years in the cricketing wilderness as a result.

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