NZ batsmen look for better showing
New Zealand's batsmen will be looking to redeem themselves in the second Test against West Indies in Napier starting Friday after a largely disappointing show in the drawn first Test. Daniel Flynn's 95 and Jesse Ryder's 89 were the only two innings of note in the first match at Dunedin, while the others struggled, as they had done in the recent series against Australia.
Flynn acknowledged that the top order was suffering from a lack of experience, understandable given that they have lost key players such as Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris and Craig McMillan. "We could say we've got a lack of experience there but in the end you've just got to put the performances on the board and we haven't done that to date, so we've just got to try to turn it round," he said.
There were some positives, mostly from debutant Tim McIntosh's resolute 34, but New Zealand will be hoping for bigger things from Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and James Franklin at McLean Park - a pitch which has the reputation for being batsman-friendly.
New Zealand's highest score this year in an innings came against England in Hamilton back in March when they made 470. However, the last two Test series, both away from home, have proved to be a disappointment.
While they made 171 and 317 for 7 to win the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, they managed 262 in the rain-affected second game in Dhaka. They failed to cross 270 in the two-Test whitewash in Australia that followed.
However, West Indies batsman and ICC Cricketer of the Year and a man well-versed in the art of batting big, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, said it would be wrong to underestimate New Zealand, despite their batting frailties.
"They've still got guys who can make big scores," he said. "Even though we have some experienced players, they're at home and they have some players with experience playing first class cricket."