West Indies v New Zealand, 4th ODI, Basseterre, St Kitts July 13, 2012

Ross Taylor likely to return for crunch game


Match facts

Saturday, July 14
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

For the first four games of the tour, West Indies were clobbering New Zealand as they haven't clobbered any Test nation in a long time. However, a familiar collapse by the hosts in St Kitts opened the door for New Zealand, who have Brendon McCullum back in the side and probably their captain Ross Taylor as well.

West Indies' success was partly due to the rustiness and inexperience of New Zealand and partly due to Chris Gayle. There is probably no harder job in limited-overs cricket than to plan for Gayle, and New Zealand's stand-in captain Kane Williamson can't be faulted for his team failures. It looked like West Indies would wrap up the series in the third ODI, but then Gayle failed.

The manner in which West Indies collapsed to an 88-run loss showed why, despite looking unstoppable at times, they remain a work in progress. This was their chance to secure a first ODI series win against top-flight opposition in more than four years, and build on their performance during the drawn home series against Australia earlier this year. The target was modest, the bowling attack manageable, the ground small, and the track full of runs, but they capitulated.

On the other hand, New Zealand could have found the belief they need to compete in the series. To keep challenging West Indies, though, they will need a stronger effort from their batsmen, especially after the loss of BJ Watling, who made two half-centuries in three matches

Form guide

(completed games, most recent first)
West Indies LWWLL
New Zealand WLLLL

Watch out for...

Brendon McCullum was not part of the original ODI squad, but joined the tour because of a spate of injuries in the team. He hasn't played for New Zealand since the home series against South Africa in March, and his last competitive fixtures were in the IPL, so he will want to shake off the rustiness as soon as possible.

Dwayne Smith made a comeback to West Indies' one-day squad after two years, in England. In five matches since, he scored two half-centuries - a marked improvement over three fifties in his previous 77 matches. He had batted in the lower order for most of his career, and often made the wrong choice of shot, and even in his new avatar as a No. 3, Smith's fifties have been flanked by innings where he has again given it away too easily.

Team news

Taylor, who hurt his shoulder during the first Twenty20, has recovered faster than expected and is likely to play. "I did say two to six weeks and I'm fortunate that it's come down to just two weeks," he said. "The stiffness and the pain has been going slightly and all going well it's looking very likely I'll play tomorrow." Watling, however, suffered a leg injury while batting during the third ODI in St. Kitts and is unavailable for selection. Brendon McCullum's return to the squad as wicketkeeper means Tom Latham is likely to play as a batsman. Fast bowler Doug Bracewell and medium-pacer Andrew Ellis will be available for selection after recovering from their injuries.

New Zealand: (possible) 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum (wk), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Ross Taylor (capt), 6 Tom Latham, 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Doug Bracewell, 11 Kyle Mills.

West Indies are likely to continue with their strongest XI. However, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin will miss the match to get married and has been replaced by Devon Thomas.

West Indies: (possible) 1 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 Devon Thomas (wk), 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Sunil Narine

Stats and trivia

  • Brendon McCullum has scored 213 runs in 13 games against West Indies at an average of 23.66. His ODI career average is 30.47.

  • West Indies have a 26-21 head-to-head record against New Zealand in all ODIs. However, in the last 10 years, New Zealand lead 11-4.


    "We won't let one game dampen the spirit of the boys."
    Darren Sammy

    "It's nice to have Brendon in the camp and hopefully Ross is looking good for the next one. It was a real shame to lose BJ [Watling], who has been our stronghold in the batting order down at six."
    Kane Williamson

    Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • charlie on July 14, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    W.I cricket is still lacking between the ears at times ! Every top team would bat down to the wire while assessing the situation ; what does Rampaul do again ? He goes for the big one at a time when Russell was well on his way to make things happen . Now that calls for a little chat with management ,along with others who did the same silly things . ...Another thing which I have a problem with is ,why does Sammy go in before Russell in a limited overs match ? His batting is still a work in the progress and so is his shot selection at times .

  • Jack on July 14, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Where is Wagner?! Chuck him in there!

  • Drew on July 14, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    If they pick their best team for this one, we will see... 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum (wk), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Ross Taylor (capt), 6 Daniel Flynn, 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Doug Bracewell, 11 Trent Boult

    strongest batting lineup in a long long time.

  • Varun on July 14, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Trent Boult looked good in the last game. Doug Bracewell should be made to wait.

  • bernard on July 14, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    With two more chances to wrap-up the ODI series am placing my bet on West Indies.However, one have to remember that over the past decade or so WI has built a reputation of inconsistency.After 4 games of what seems like the elimination of that problem, A GENTLE REMINDER, that we are still the WEST INDIES. That said, I think the quality of the opposition and home court advantage give WI the edge.GOOD LUCK WI.A word of advice to Johnson Charles,make some runs and secure your place @ the top of the batting order.That position is up for grabs,seize the occasion,make it yours alongside Gayle.You are more than capable.WI 4 LIFE.

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    i hope mccullum will keep but lately he is reluctant to keep at international level. with this slower flat track y not bring in a mystery spinner? nethulas leg spin is awesome and how will he get better without more international experience? as for mills his times up i think hes harming n.z at the moment and a left arm swinger is way more valuable then a overrated medium "fast" bowler

  • Michael on July 14, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    You have to be kidding.shows you know NOTHING about cricket ! How can you pick a team and leave out Trent Boult....I am a west indian,but you see Boult....that man is going to be the WI BIGGEST nightmare especially in the tests,and to leave him out after causing Gayle to think.... again shows that you really don't follow cricket.

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    possible playing 11 of Newzealand should be so, 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum , 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Ross Taylor (capt), 6 Tom Latham(WK), 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle mills, 11 Trent Boult.

  • anu on July 14, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    This will be a great 11 of BLACKCAPS!!! 1.Rob Nicol, 2.Martin Guptill, 3.Brendon McCullum, 4.Rossco, 5.Kane Williamson, 6.BJ Watling, 7.Jacob Oram, 8.Nathan McCullum, 9.Kyle Mills, 10.Tim Southee, 11.Trent Boult

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Coin toss between Flynn and Latham. But definitely Boult in for Mills. More threatening as a bowler and good enough with the bat. In fact, Black Caps tail looks very healthy batting-wise

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