West Indies v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Basseterre, St Kitts

Confident West Indies eye rare series win

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

July 10, 2012

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Wednesday, July 11
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

Chris Gayle is bowled, West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Twenty20, Florida, July 1, 2012
New Zealand have managed to do this just twice in four games, at the cost of 326 runs © AFP

Big Picture

Much has been said about New Zealand's preparation for their tour of the West Indies not being ideal. What could have gone wrong for them, has. They were already missing a key player or two; they went ahead and had injuries galore. They were expected to be hammered. They have been so far.

But New Zealand have always fought their way through constraints of all kinds throughout their cricketing history. A wafer-thin player base, lack of funds, not many prodigious talents, you name it. 'Punching above their weight' has become second nature to them. Which is why it was even more disappointing to see them not show much fight so far on this tour.

Can they show some of that fight tomorrow? Can they play like the New Zealand we have come to know? It takes only one delivery to get even Chris Gayle out. Who knows how the West Indies middle order, full of hard-hitting allrounders, will tackle that situation, something they haven't faced in the past four games?

You would think that is the only factor West Indies have to manage. They seem to have pretty much everything else under control, and have their first ODI series win against top Test-level opposition in more than four years within sight.

Form guide

West Indies WWLLL (completed games, most recent first)
New Zealand LLLLL

Watch out for...

Nathan McCullum has said the New Zealand bowlers have made some plans for Chris Gayle that they "are pretty sure are going to work". That looks like asking a lot of an attack that has managed to take just six wickets in two games. But that could also be New Zealand's only chance. A batting line-up that relies on an international rookie like BJ Watling to be its top-scorer for two games running does not inspire any confidence at all.

The West Indies batting, barring Gayle, hasn't been tested all that much. While there have been creditable supporting acts from Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Smith, it has been Gayle who has been the driving force of the line-up. He now has five scores of fifty-plus from six innings since making his international comeback. He can't go on like this. The early dismissal will happen, maybe tomorrow, and it will be interesting to watch the approach of the other batsmen then.

Team news

Again, barring injuries, there seems to be no reason why West Indies would want to change a winning XI. Unless they want to replace the struggling Lendl Simmons and bring Johnson Charles in at the top. Darren Sammy did mention after the second ODI that he could be the one to be rested later in the series, but it probably will not be for a potential series-decider.

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

Brendon McCullum was expected to join the squad less than 24 hours before the start of Wednesday's game, and it will be asking too much to expect him to play. "We'll see how he feels," the coach John Wright told New Zealand reporters earlier. "It's a long journey [from New Zealand], that may be a little bit tight." New Zealand have the option of handing an ODI debut to left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult to beef up the attack, something Wright hinted they could go in for. Unfortunately, there are no options left to beef up the batting.

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

Stats and trivia

  • Lendl Simmons averages 9.00 this year from four ODIs and two Twenty20s
  • Kyle Mills needs two more wickets to overtake Chris Harris as the second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs for New Zealand, behind Daniel Vettori


    "At the end of the day we've just got to get him out."
    Nathan McCullum, the New Zealand offspinner, on the task that has seemed beyond his side so far - dismissing Chris Gayle

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by joseyesu on (July 11, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

Even GAYLE got out early, this team has lot of power batting line up to score 250+. But it is WI, you can expect anything

Posted by Kiwi_Craig on (July 11, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

@MrPiquet Neil Wagner is only in the test team at the moment but yes he should be in odis too even if he gives a few runs away at least his pace would help.

Posted by Reagos on (July 11, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

I think NZ is wearing on the clothes WI used in the past 10 years and WI found the kit they used 20 years ago. I hope Sammy and his boys dont do laundry anytime soon...

Posted by stickywicketnick on (July 11, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Why are Nicol, Flynn, Brownlie and Latham in this side? Our whole batting line-up is pathetic without Ryder, McCullum, Taylor and Franklin. Wish Lou Vincent could come back too; considering his form in county cricket. If they'd selected Neil Wagner for the limited overs games, he would've had the pace to cause Gayle at least some trouble. Everyone knows that Kyle Mills' 125k length delieveries certainly aren't.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Wondering WI is not a team..its an individual who performing for other nations! Eventhough they have all the spirit of cricket to dismantle any best squad in world cricket,but still they are failing as a team..they need some mental balance rather than going to ground in the morning for practise..

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (July 11, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

I want to see Best play a few games steaming in against these unconfident Kiwis I mean there is no need for Simmons in this 11 Best would probably do a better job opening the batting than him anyway haha at least he'd go at a run a ball.

Posted by FreeD on (July 11, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

I have waited for three years to make a comment in this position where after two matches the West Indies is on the brink of playing for a win rather than hoping to stave off another defeat.

It is a good feeling. However, I am wary of the fact that our bowling attack only looks good because of the tremendous batting contributions we have had. Narine is class, and Rampaul/Russell are still inconsistent, Sammy is our hope to make some change. I am not completely murmuring because a few months ago there was no mysterious leg spinner that was confounding the wise.

However, Sammy needs to give the ball to Gayle, and shore up more tidy overs in the mid overs. I am concerned about how Waitling is building a rhythm. Maybe I am a fan for far too long. When things fall apart with us, it tends to happen in the worst way possible.

But I am still hoping for a win.

Posted by gloriouscricket on (July 11, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

Not so fast Binu, this team needs to win a series against one of the top teams before they flatter themselves about how good they are. Please no comparison to the 80s team yet.They need to play together @ least 3 more years, the batting needs to show that they are confident as well as consistent. If Gayle falls early then the talents of Smith, Samuels, Bravo & co must show that they can carry the team. No one is questioning their talent; It is the commitment to winning at all cost that will be the benchmark of this team.The hard work, the Will to succeed.

Posted by MrPiquet on (July 11, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

I've asked beofre... But... Where on earth Is Wagner...?

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

west indies already had drawn the ODI Series against australia without gayle. now they are a stronger unit with addition of pollard, bravo, narine, smith . they emerge as front runners to win the twenty twenty world cup.

Posted by abhi_ram1989 on (July 11, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

I feel the strategy that are adopted by New Zealand are defensive that makes them more weaker. My question is why they are too much worried about one player i.e. Chris Gayle. Y cant they concentrate on other 10 players. New Zealand need to understand one thing, if they try to work on others weakness, it will not produce results rather they should work on their strength. Here comes the role of the coach becomes important. John Wright was able to do when he was with India then i dont know y he cant repeat the same with New Zealand.

Posted by Kiwi_Craig on (July 11, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

@suniljoseph U cant go around saying nathan should retire just for saying they might know how to get gayle out. Who knows there plan might work and it might not. Who cares about what daren sammy nearly did, the fact is that he is a good captain but not a good cricketer. @Ahmed Hussain We have way more of a chance of winning a game in this series than against the 2 best teams in the world, saying things like that is just common sense and doesnt need to be said. Also i back the blackcaps to win the test series, because that cancels out chris gayle because 1 person cant win a test but they can win a T20 or ODI on there own. Wait until we get neil wagner steaming in on test series debut, then you west indians will know what a fight is!!! GO THE BLACKCAPS.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

This is the best team after that terrfic WI team in the 80s..Include those above sixfeet bowlers with this team...Only week link is the Wicket Keeper.The need WK like Jef Dujon....My favourit team after india is WI go windees go....!

Posted by anver777 on (July 11, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

At the moment NZ is struggling without their regulars, WI is in full of confidence & will win handsomely today........ If WI continue this success, then this team can do wonders in future & is a real threat for any team !!!!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 11, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Even the WI team is strong at home. So every team in the world at the moment is UNO NUMERO at home. This is bad for cricket in the long run. The NZ team is not a weak one. WI earned their wins through good performances. Keep it up Caribbean warriors !!!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

They are planning to get-out Gayle.But I'm pretty sure that Gayle's approach to the batting also will be changed.He will definitely take time to fire(what he did in IPL)Anyway the pressure is on NZ and they will fight against that in WI's home which will be a hard ask.If WI win the toss today they should bowl first if Brendon plays today.

Posted by Sinhaya on (July 11, 2012, 1:52 GMT)

Windies are simply excellent in the shorter formats at least at home.

Posted by NAZMO-CRICKFANN on (July 11, 2012, 1:08 GMT)


Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (July 11, 2012, 0:08 GMT)

It's only rare because W.I haven't had/picked a full strength side in over a decade this is the first time I remember in a long time that all the best players are together and this will only be better once Roach and possibly even Jerome Tayler return, as well as our promising youngsters such as Braitwaite Powell DM Bravo Barath Johnson Mcclean Holder keep progressing as compared to other nations youngsters they show far more potential.

Posted by lilyblackcapsfan on (July 10, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

NZ are getting better, and I'm sure they'll put up a fight this ODI. Nothing but game time can prepare someone after a 3 month break. @suniljoseph Why should someone retire for just saying words? Maybe they do have a plan to get Gayle out, and if it works for Gayle, who's to say it won't work on Pollard, Samuels etc. A lot of things were said during that test in Hobart that everyone scoffed at, and look who won.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 23:14 GMT)

Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Daren Sammy and they are only planning to out Chris Gayle. Every single one of the listed players mention can take a match home on their own as they have proved it many times before.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

Looking forward to an xciting game tomorrow,which is not beyond NZ. Gayle is playing the best I've seen him for a while, & will be a problem for NZ. But WI have a few other good players & anyone can come off at anytime.However, winning is not beyond NZ, but this will be difficult. For them to have any chance against Gayle, the bowling option has to be spin. Maybe their leggie. Come on WI, win this series for President Ramotar & the Caribbean fans.

Posted by gtzshotta on (July 10, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

Whether they get Gayle or not, the batting will stand up. Bravo and Pollard haven't scored yet in these ODI's .

Posted by IndiaRulesEverybody on (July 10, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

I wouldn't write the NZ team off! They have time and again showed they have the tenacity to put up a fight even with the limited talent pool that they have.

Posted by Nishant2012 on (July 10, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

Nz need to get gayle out as early as possible... target him with some tight bowling, short ball might b the key.... nz shld pull up their socks in the absence of ryder, taylor, mccullum, franklin etc... i am sure nz will show something to cheer about to their fans.. go nz go..Goodluck

Posted by suniljoseph on (July 10, 2012, 21:21 GMT)

this is totally rubbish by the kiwi players. why they say that they have planned against gayle. west indies is full of big bashers like gayle and there is no evident shortage. they should have a game plan for all 11 players if pollard starts to do what he did in the first t20 then what would mr mculum do i think he should retire from cricket after giving such crazy comments. and dont forget sammy's innings in the last odi against australia recently in which he single handedly almost won the match. come on earth mr mcculum.

Posted by denessa on (July 10, 2012, 21:01 GMT)


Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

If New Zealand can't win a game in this series then I can't really see them winning a game in their future series away to South Africa and England :)

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