West Indies v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Kingston

West Indies' best chance for rare series win

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

July 4, 2012

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Thursday, July 5
Start time 0930 (1430 GMT)


Kane Williamson chops the ball towards point, New Zealand v South Africa, 1st ODI , Wellington, February 25, 2012
The spotlight is on stand-in New Zealand captain Kane Williamson © AFP
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Big Picture

West Indies have long been at that level where mediocrity becomes so much of a routine that you lose track of how poor they have actually become. It has been more than four years since they have won an ODI series against Test-level opposition, apart from Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. That is 14 straight bilateral series. Recent performances and the current opposition give a faint glimmer of hope, though, that the woeful run could end.

West Indies tied a hard-fought series with Australia at home in March. They were expected to be beaten, but they fought. Another factor in their favour is that their opponents, New Zealand, are fellow laggards. They are ranked seventh, a point ahead of West Indies in the ICC one-day rankings, and a gulf separates the two and sixth-ranked Pakistan. Since December 2008, New Zealand have won only one bilateral ODI series against top Test-level opposition. They have even suffered a 0-4 rout to Bangladesh.

If the Twenty20s were a sign of things to come, New Zealand stand no chance. They were hammered in both games in Florida. The ODI format does afford a team the time to withstand shocks and come back. But on paper, things look loaded against New Zealand. They are coming off after a long break, the conditions certainly won't suit them, West Indies are packed with power-hitters and New Zealand are without their injured captain Ross Taylor and other key players. Again, it's time to 'punch above their weight'.

Form guide

West Indies LLLWT (completed games, most recent first)
New Zealand LLLWW

Watch out for...

This is the best chance for Darren Sammy to record his first ODI series win over top opposition. All the talk during his captaincy has been about 'team over individuals', building for the future and encouraging youth. They need to start winning some as well.

It will be a tough initiation to captaincy for Kane Williamson, the youngest to lead New Zealand, and of whom much is expected for many years to come. At the very least, this short leadership stint, till Taylor comes back, can only build his character. And offer New Zealand a glimpse into the long-term future.

Team news

West Indies have stuck to the same squad that lost the ODI series to England, minus Darren Bravo and Fidel Edwards. Again, the choice to be made will be which allrounder to leave out.

West Indies: (possible) 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Dwayne Smith, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Tino Best, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Sunil Narine

New Zealand have added fast bowler Trent Boult to the squad for the one-dayers. He was already part of the Test squad but is yet to make his ODI debut. Jacob Oram missed the second Twenty20 on Sunday with a knee strain but is expected to be fit for the ODIs.

New Zealand: (possible) 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Daniel Flynn, 5 Dean Brownlie, 6 Tom Latham/BJ Watling (wk), 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Doug Bracewell/Tarun Nethula 11 Kyle Mills

Stats and trivia

  • The last time New Zealand toured the West Indies for a bilateral series was in 2002
  • The last time Chris Gayle played for West Indies at Sabina Park, his home ground, was in June 2009

    Quotes

    "Without Brendon and Ross in the side we lose a bit of that experience. We've got quite a young batting line-up, but the guys are picked in this squad for a reason."
    New Zealand's Martin Guptill thinks his team-mates are capable of stepping up in the absence of the senior players

    "We are looking for consistency. For the past few home series we have not started well and have played catch up."
    Darren Sammy, West Indies' captain, is hoping for a decent start to the series

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

RAMNARESH SARWAN is needed in this side to provide some skill and experience in the middle order. i still don't think that DWAYNE SMITH has that experience or quality to fill that #3 position.

Posted by denessa on (July 5, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

WINDIES WILL PUT A SOUND TRASHING ON THE NEW ZELANDERS........

Posted by frano1 on (July 5, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

lets all remember that the last time west indies faced Bangladesh they were a weakened side. west indies now have a formidable team that will make most teams consider them serious contenders. Hence i believe they will start favorites in that series. As for Tino Best being apart of the squad i applaud the move. For anyone who has seen Best over the last three years they will admit that there has been a vast improvement. simply putting in players because they are young doesn't cut there has to be a proper developmental program to groom these players to maturity.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

It's very hard to wait to see Chris Gayle's batting, and I am sure at this time Chris Gayle and Pollard will crush New Zealand again, as New Zealand main players have some different type of injuries, so definitely West Indies have big change to win this series. Best of luck West Indies.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

cricketWI...Yes its true when Bangladesh and West Indies played at World Cup, Bangladesh were thumped but I'm not going to lie, Bangladesh back and before then were playing like an ordinary team but everything has changed now. Don't forget the last time they met, they we're both relatively equal with Bangladesh winning the one-off T20 match, West Indies winning the 3 match ODI Series 2-1 in which one of them Bangladesh bowled out West Indies for 61 runs only 3 more runs compared to the 2011 World Cup defeat so even stevens there and the 2 match Test series 1-0 to West Indies with the other one a draw so that shows West Indies didn't beat Bangladesh convincingly. West Indies are a talented team but there's not much difference between them, New Zealand and Bangladesh now.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

@legend_963...First of all times have changed now and Bangladesh are a improved side and the last time West Indies played a series against Bangladesh both were equal but don't worry, when they meet later this year, you'll know what I mean. If Bangladesh can beat the likes of India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and give Pakistan a tough fight then I'm sure Bangladesh can convincingly beat the West Indies this time around. Bangladesh were bad then but this is now.

Posted by Kiwi_Craig on (July 5, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@Mike O'Brien: Neil Wagner is only in the test team but you are right he should be in the odi team too but he should be in 1 day. Cant wait to see him bowl in the tests he should go well. Good luck to the Blackcaps, we will need it.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

Surely it can't be long before NZ are losing to the likes of Afghanistan and Ireland on a regular basis. It has been a very long time since NZ have 'punched above their weight,' there can be no more excuses. Either perform or get out.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Oram may be injury prone but he has been one of NZs better performers in the last decade especially in world cups. Its disappointing to see NZ fans constantly bashing him.

Posted by SwingandSeam on (July 5, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

I am not sure of the point to playing Tino Best. He has had his chance, enjoyed some good moments, but surely now is an opportunity to bring in some of the young guys who have done well recently in the A side against India. Johnson, Holder or Permaul should be given an opportunity. Hopefully one or two will play at some point, at least in the Test series.

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