Weather worry on Nelson's big day
Match factsSaturday, January 4, 2014
11:00 (22:00 GMT previous day)
One-day bilateral series aren't something that stick in the mind of cricket fans, but Corey Anderson put this series on the front pages with a record-breaking century that it will be remembered by. Cricket fans in Nelson also won't forget this series, as they gear up for the first one-day international in the city, with all 5300 tickets sold out. The match will also give the World Cup organisers to gauge Saxton Oval's readiness for the global event, in which Nelson will host three matches.
The main worry ahead of the game though is whether the rains will stay away. Persistent showers meant the teams couldn't practise at the ground on Friday, with West Indies instead training at a boxing gym which had a two-lane, indoor cricket net attached. "We're just praying for a fine day," Nelson cricket chief David Leonard told 3 News. "I'm not unhappy to see it rain today actually, because it's fairly rare in Nelson that we might get two days of rain in a row."
The series is level at one-all with two games to play, but New Zealand should think of themselves as favourites, given the slew of major players missing from the West Indies side. Injuries meant Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard never made the trip, Marlon Samuels joined that list soon after the Tests, Darren Bravo flew home due to personal reasons, and on New Years' Day Darren Sammy strained his hamstring to miss the rest of the tour.
Add to that, the damage caused by Anderson and Jesse Ryder's savage centuries in Queenstown, and the chilly weather which is a far cry from a Caribbean summer. West Indies have an enormous challenge ahead.
New Zealand WLLWL(last five completed matches)
West Indies LWLWL
In the spotlightCorey Anderson will be associated with the number 36 for a long time, after his brutal hitting made him a name to watch among cricket fans around the world. The challenge now for Anderson is to make his name as a reliable allrounder, and not as a one-hit wonder.
Ravi Rampaul had a nightmare New Years' Day, thumped for 64 runs in three overs - the worst economy rate in an ODI for any bowler who has bowled more than one over. In a team sorely lacking experience, and badly needing a lift, Rampaul will need to step up his game.
Team newsTim Southee rejoined the squad earlier this week after recovering from a toe injury. The rain on Friday meant he couldn't bowl to test whether he is fully fit to play on Saturday, though Southee was confident he was good to go. "Toe is coming along alright," he said. "Bowled a few in Queenstown and there was no pain, which is a good sign. Where they made the cut, it is still a bit raw, so a bit of blood after bowling, so let it heal and stop splitting. Would have been nice to have a bowl today."
New Zealand will also have to take a call on whether to include Kane Williamson in the XI, or to leave him out for the second game in a row.
New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Ross Taylor, 4 Brendon McCullum (capt), 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Luke Ronchi, (wk), 7 James Neesham, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee/Adam Milne, 10 Mitchell McClenaghan, 11 Kyle Mills
The injuries keep coming for West Indies, with Sammy the latest to be ruled out. One option for West Indies is to bring in Kirk Edwards for Chadwick Walton to bolster their top order. In any case, they will be left with a rather lengthy tail.
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 Ravi Rampaul, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Jason Holder 11 Nikita Miller
Stats and trivia
- Saxton Oval will become the 13th New Zealand venue to host an ODI
- Adam Milne has big numbers in his six ODIs so far: the batting strike-rate is 400 (just one innings), but the bowling strike-rate is a woeful 176 and bowling average is 172 as he has taken only one wicket
- Mitchell McClenaghan has 42 wickets in 16 ODIs. The record for quickest to 50 wickets is held by Ajantha Mendis (19 matches), and the fastest New Zealand bowler is Shane Bond (27)
Quotes"It was a great knock from Anderson but we've been analyzing footage and studying the size of the ground. It's going to be a different ball game. We will not be making the same mistakes twice."
"I think they'll (West Indies) learn from it (Queenstown defeat) - there's no point in hanging on to it and dwelling on it, so they'll move on. It's another game tomorrow, a fresh start at a different ground, with different conditions."
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo