New Zealand v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Wellington January 6, 2009

West Indies bank on batting and pace

Match facts

January 7, 2009
Start time 2pm (0100 GMT)

Jesse Ryder will be keen to convert his starts into something big; he has eight scores of over 20 in nine innings but only one half-century © Getty Images

Big Picture

West Indies' thrilling five-wicket win in a truncated match in Christchurch gives them an edge going into the third ODI in Wellington. Ramnaresh Sarwan, who scored his first half-century of the tour after a disappointing Test series, and Denesh Ramdin, who impressed in just his second game as vice-captain - he made 28 in 18 balls to help his team win - starred in an exciting comeback after their team needed 40 off 20 balls with five wickets left. Ramdin, who performed poorly in the Test series, managing 17 runs in three innings, had reason to be optimistic ahead of his next game when he said he was capable of winning more matches for his team.

New Zealand will be hurting for having squandered a winning position, and with allrounder Jacob Oram a doubtful starter for Wellington, they'll be short on confidence. Andy Moles, their coach, has stressed the need to be more ruthless to finish games off after gaining the upper-hand, and emphasised the importance of the top five batting for longer durations to give their bowlers the cushion of a sizeable total.

The visitors, on the other hand, have fewer worries at this point, with their captain Chris Gayle continuing to look good - he made a brisk 36 off 31 balls in Christchurch - and their fast bowlers, particularly Fidel Edwards, doing a commendable job - the trio of Edwards, Daren Powell and Jerome Taylor conceded 70 in 17 overs and took five wickets between them - to keep New Zealand down to a chaseable score.

ODI form guide (last five completed games, most recent first)

West Indies: WLLLW
New Zealand: LWWLW

Players to watch

Nikita Miller put in an admirable show in the second ODI, breaking a threatening 50-run stand between Jesse Ryder and Jamie How, and then dismissing Ross Taylor to help reduce New Zealand to 87 for 5 at one stage. His 2 for 26 was his best performance against a team other than Bermuda and Canada, but he'll be keen to bring down his economy rate which increases to 4.92 when discounting performances against minnows.

Jesse Ryder has expressed his aspiration to score an international century but has consistently failed to build on starts in his fledgling ten-match career. In nine innings, he has been dismissed for a score of above 20 on seven occasions, and will be keen to convert his next batting stint into something substantial. Ryder, like Moles, has urged his fellow top-order batsmen to spend a longer time at the crease, and the advice applies to him more than anyone else after throwing away his wicket far too often.

Team news

With Jacob Oram not certain for the third ODI, Mark Gillespie, who was left out in Christchurch, could regain his spot. New Zealand have a squad of 13 for Wellington and the potential absence of a key player seriously limits their options of a suitable replacement. However, a must-win situation - New Zealand have to win in Wellington to retain hope of winning the five-match series - may force them to go in with the best eleven, including Oram.

New Zealand (probable): Brendon McCullum (wk), Jesse Ryder, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Daniel Flynn, Jacob Oram/Mark Gillespie, Daniel Vettori (capt), Tim Southee, Jeetan Patel, Kyle Mills.

West Indies will be tempted to retain a winning combination but the performance of their allrounder Kieron Pollard remains a worry. He's failed with the bat in both the ODIs and averages 5.40 in six games. He struggled with the ball as well, conceding 26 in two overs in Christchurch, and his overall economy rate of 8.14 won't have too may captains itching to give him another go. Shivnarine Chanderpaul is certain to replace him if fit, while Shawn Findlay may be given a look-in if not

West Indies (probable): Chris Gayle (capt), Sewnarine Chattergoon, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul/Shawn Findlay, Xavier Marshall, Brendan Nash, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jerome Taylor, Nikita Miller, Fidel Edwards, Darren Powell.


Chris Gayle and opening partner Sewnarine Chattergoon are just nine runs away from scoring 500 runs together. They average an impressive 61.37 in nine innings, but it slips to 34.83 when discounting performances against Zimbabwe and Canada. They average 28 in this series.

Kyle Mills and Tim Southee were New Zealand's highest wicket-takers in 2008 with 21 each, and five wickets at 24.2 this series.


"If one in the top five gets in and scores some runs and the rest bat around them it would be good."
Jesse Ryder chalks out New Zealand's batting plan

"Both teams have guys who are capable of hitting a lot of boundaries so if you get those players out in the first 15 overs and shut down the runs it will be good."
Denesh Ramdin is just as keen to upset Ryder's plans

Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo