New Zealand v West Indies, 1st T20, Auckland January 10, 2014

West Indies hope new-look batting comes good

The Preview by Karthik Krishnaswamy

Match facts

Saturday, January 11, 2014
19:00 local (06:00 GMT)

Big Picture

After doing well to level the ODI series with an injury-ravaged team, West Indies will look to end their tour on a high in their favourite format. The game in Auckland is the first of seven T20Is that West Indies will play over the two months leading up to their World T20 title defence. The absence of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy will give their fringe players an opportunity to stake their claim for the tournament.

New Zealand are smarting from defeat in the final ODI. James Neesham, the allrounder, suggested they may have been a touch complacent going into that game. It shouldn't happen here, considering New Zealand only have these two matches in the format before the World T20, with the period in between seeing them play only 50-over and Test cricket against India. The selectors have chosen their strongest possible squad, and the team will look to target West Indies' unproven batting lineup.

Kieran Powell and Chadwick Walton are yet to make their T20 debuts for West Indies, Andre Fletcher returns to the side after two-and-a-half years and Narsingh Deonarine has an average of 11 from eight matches. With Johnson Charles and Lendl Simmons not boasting particularly stellar records in the format either, their captain Dwayne Bravo might once again come under a lot of pressure. It brought out his best in the ODI series, in which he scored more runs and took more wickets than any of his team-mates, but he will want others to step up as well. It won't help him that Kirk Edwards, who scored a century in the final ODI, isn't part of the T20 squad.

Two of the four matches in the drawn ODI series featured T20-style hitting. In Queenstown, Corey Anderson and Jesse Ryder went berserk in a match reduced to 21 overs a side, while Edwards and Dwayne Bravo returned the favour in the final ODI in Hamilton. The short boundaries at Eden Park could produce similar scenes in the first of two T20Is, and will leave West Indies in a dilemma over how many spinners they play, although the drop-in pitch produced a low-scoring first ODI.

Form guide

New Zealand (last five completed matches) LWWLW
West Indies LLWWW

In the spotlight

Kieran Powell has played 20 Tests and 24 ODIs for West Indies, but is yet to make his debut in T20 internationals. His 44-ball 73 in the final ODI in Hamilton has shown he is capable of playing T20-style innings. Powell will need to maintain that form if he is to retain his place after Chris Gayle's return.

It isn't often that you score a 46-ball hundred in the second match of your comeback series from a career-threatening head injury and find yourself overshadowed by someone else. Jesse Ryder, however, will have appreciated the relative anonymity. With the World T20 around the corner, New Zealand will hope Ryder keeps his form going, considering the impact he can have at the top of the order in the shortest format.

Team news

New Zealand have named a 12-man squad, with Adam Milne and the allrounder James Neesham likely to fight it out for the fourth seamer's spot.

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

West Indies will face a difficult call in the spin department, between legspinner Samuel Badree, who has an excellent T20 record, and left-armer Nikita Miller, who picked up a four-for in the final ODI. The presence of the seam-bowling allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, however, might tempt them to play both Badree and Miller in a three-man spin attack with Sunil Narine.

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Lendl Simmons, 4 Narsingh Deonarine/Andre Fletcher, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Jason Holder, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Nikita Miller, 10 and 11 Samuel Badree/Ravi Rampaul/Tino Best

Stats and trivia

Of the eight tied matches in T20I history, three have involved New Zealand and the West Indies, and two of them were played in Auckland.


Last time we were here, [Darren] Sammy made them look rather inviting, so I think that the whole batting line-up will be eyeing up the straight boundaries here.
Opening batsman Kieran Powell, on the short boundaries at Eden Park

"We thought we maybe had the wood on the West Indies a little bit heading into that last game and possibly were a little bit underprepared for what they were going to bring at us. So I think just personal preparation before each game is the key."
Allrounder James Neesham, on what New Zealand need to do to become more consistent

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roger on January 11, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Darren Sammy's absence will be felt for his leadership, batsmanship and catching abilities.

  • Roy on January 11, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    David Mohammed, Santokie is not on the team cause the selectors did not like him! It does not matter who performs well in the CPL, it is who they like. If you been watching the team they pick for India and New Zealand, then it is no surprise !

  • James on January 11, 2014, 3:04 GMT

    @ Nikko Chunn, Brendon Mccullum has clearly stated that he will no longer be keeping in any format. So come up with an actual resolution! This comment of Mccullum keeping is becoming quite boring and repetitive now!

  • Chris on January 11, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    Very much agree with Nikko's comments - Jimmy Neesham always contributes whether a vital wicket or smashing 24 off an over. He is in my 11 every time. Yet to see why they are picking Munroe. Like Nicol, de Grandhomme before him he is there for his potential and he has yet to deliver. Speaking of potential how much more time do we give Ronchi? He's come to the crease at different stages of the game and still hasn't owned it - lots of time to bat? Out for single figures. Two overs to hit boundaries? Out for single figures. Rescue an innings? Nope. BJ can and has delivered in all of those circumstances and his keeping (to my non-keeper sensibilities) is solid with no glaring missed catches etc. Come on Bruce Edgar, give us the guts on the keeping sitch! By the by, Baz had better start scoring runs if he wants to captain the team through to the World Cup. And can he please stop inserting the other team if he wins the toss!

  • David on January 11, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    Agree that Ronchi doesn't perhaps deserve a spot. Especially in t20 where wicketkeepers have such little impact on the game with the gloves. It's not like you'll drop someone and they'll go on to make 150. Heck, how many deliveries in a t20 innings are even missed by the batsmen? A couple of wides and a handful of plays and misses? If BMac can't keep for 20 overs, give the gloves to Ryder, or better yet, bring in Williamson and have him keep. This is one form of the game where it really doesn't matter who has the gloves on.

  • Roy on January 10, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Kirk Edwards! I will play him in this 20/20 games here, but that would not happen, why! Because WI have the selectors that do things different, well I am just tired of those selectors, so lets see what they will do this time! I will not be surprise!

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    Agree with Kevin Randall Padmore, Dwayne Smith should definitely be in this side after the way he forced Ponting out of Mumbai Indians team last year with his form .

    A full strength Windies team would be:

    Gayle, Charles†, Smith, Samuels, Bravo, Pollard, Sammy, Russell, Holder, Narine, Miller.

    That side is capable of winning the world T20.

  • Alexei on January 10, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    For me, I think the WI T20 team at its strongest and even here is more experienced at different levels of the format is better and more containing AT ITS BEST than any attack NZ put out. Badree (never underestimate him), Rampaul and Narine are among the best in the world at this format. Throw Santokie somewhere in there and its perfect

  • Alexei on January 10, 2014, 17:14 GMT

    Krishmar Santokie should be in this squad easily over Tino Best, or even Sheldon Cottrell, since it was his T20 BOWLING that gave him recognition and not first class cricket. My 11 with the current T20 squad: Charles, Powell, Fletcher, Simmonds, Bravo, Russell, Walton, Miller, Narine, Rampaul and Badree. Three spinners and three seamers (who can bat) would be a perfect balance in a T20 like this considerig how the pitch has played. Walton deserves his chance inT20 fo WI now and could float anywhere up or down that order

  • charlie on January 10, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    I hope that the team selection includes Kirk Edwards seeing his recent form , ability to score quickly without undue risk taking and to be the support around which this attacking line-up revolves . Too often in the shorter format ,wickets tend to fall quickly in the pursuit of runs and there is often that need for consolidation .