New Zealand in West Indies 2014 June 6, 2014

Patience key in New Zealand series - Samuels

ESPNcricinfo staff

Marlon Samuels has warned that the Tests between West Indies and New Zealand could be a series of attrition, with batsmen needing to graft for runs on pitches that are on the slower side and bowlers having to show patience on flat tracks.

"The pitches in the Caribbean are a bit on the slow side so it [will depend on] who can occupy the crease the longest and win more sessions," Samuels told CMC. "Patience will be the most important thing for this series for the batsmen and bowlers. [You will have to] bowl in good areas and be patient in every way that is possible to win, because it is going to be a tough series. These pitches get flat sometimes and they are still on the slow side so whosoever is more patient will come out on top."

The last time the two teams played a Test in the West Indies, Samuels scored 123 and 52 to help set up a five-wicket win for his side, ensuring a 2-0 series result. Since then, however, West Indies have only beaten Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Tests, losing Test series on tours of India and New Zealand.

While West Indies have prepared for the series with a camp in Barbados, that included practice games against local sides, New Zealand have prepared for the Tests with two matches against a Jamaica Select XI. In the second practice game, the New Zealanders dismissed Jamaica Select XI for 90 to complete a 123-run win. Offspinner Mark Craig, who is hoping for a Test debut on the tour, had figures of 4-0-8-4 in the second innings, while legspinner Ish Sodhi took 5 for 35 in the first.

Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, called the conditions of the second practice game "extreme" and would not commit to both Sodhi and Craig featuring in the starting XI for the first Test, in Kingston, from Sunday.

"Kingston doesn't have a lot of grass on it but it holds together and certainly has a lot more pace," Hesson told the Dominion Post. "We haven't seen the wicket and we have to decide whether we play a third seamer [Wagner] or a second spinner [Craig]. Whoever we leave out will be unlucky because they've both performed really well."

The composition of the top order is a concern for New Zealand. In the two practice games, the team had scores of 112, 210, 203 and 132, with only two batsmen scoring fifties. While Tom Latham and Peter Fulton had knocks in the 30s, Hamish Rutherford, who has been the side's regular opener over the last year, had a highest score of 19 in two games.

While Hesson said he had an idea who should open, he said captain Brendon McCullum's input would also be factored in. "We gave all of our openers chances at the top," Hesson said. "We've got a pretty fair idea, but I've got to have a chat with our captain about that."

The only New Zealand player who is likely to not be considered for selection is backup wicketkeeper and batsman Luke Ronchi. According to reports in the New Zealand media, Ronchi is suffering from a lung infection but will be remain on tour with the team.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    West Indies lack THIS all rounder in the middle to lower order.Thats where i reckon why the balance is offset. My team of 11. Gayle, Braithwaite, Edwards, Bravo, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Ramdin, Holder/Benn, Taylor, Shillingford, Roach. It would be nice to see another spinner in the attack but lets see how the first test goes.

  • pranay on June 6, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    I Like To See Brendon Mccullum Opening The Batting........Because He Is The Good Opener So New Zealand Should This Batting Line Up Against West Indies 1.Brendon Mccullum 2.Rutherford 3.Williamson 4.Ross Taylor 5.Anderson 6.Watling 7.Neesham/Ronchi 8.Southee 9.Sodhi 10.Bolt 11.Mark Craig/Gillespie BEST OF LUCK

  • Colin on June 6, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    My NZ team for this game would be: 1. Fulton (why you ask? - because in slower conditions he is a good patient batsman his weakness is vs the quicks outside the off) 2. Latham. (I think Rutherford needs a spell to work on his patience and this way we keep left and right handed openers) 3. Williamson (leave him as a 3) 4. Taylor (our best bats at 4) 5. Mac (200 and 300 in the last series batting a 5 only an idiot would change his position, 5 is where he belongs) 6. Anderson (vs Neesham I guess I will go with the incumbent unless the pitch looks a bit quicker, Neesham may be favoured as Shillingford is good vs lefties, again a pitch call) 7. Watling 8. Sodhi (give him a chance in more favourable conditions NZ@home sucks for spinners) 9. Southee 10. Wagner (this guy should always be selected he is a go to bowler in less facourable bowling conditions including flat wickets). 11. Boult (our strike bowler)

  • Dummy4 on June 6, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Four-real-quicks is delusional! Try 4 pacers in today's cricket and they would be plastered all over the boundary; it is rare to have pacers like Robert, Holding, Garner, Croft playing at the same time on the same team.

  • Android on June 6, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    Some West Indies supporters have veru short memories. How can any sensible fan recommend dropping of Samuels in the first test against New Zealand? If one does an analysis of cricket, one will find a clear trend of certain batters doing well against certain teams until they are past their playing days. Doug Walters and Sunil Gavaskar comes to mind against WI, Jimmy Adams against NZ. We must be careful of replacing established players without proof that they have nothing left. Sachin and Ricky, Graeme and Jacques, ok. Do we drop Chanderpaul if he fails the first test? I don't think so!

  • CRIC on June 6, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Brathwaitte is made for long spells at the crease. A genuine accumulator of runs who doesn't gift his wicket away easily - and, throughout this season, in good form. Hopefully the selectors will see fit to include him in the XI. Gabriel over Holder was questionable, to say the least. Samuels must be on his last chance too.

  • Android on June 6, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    west indies selector just keep going in circles samuels should be dropped player like him keeping this team down , they jus keep denying young man like leon johnson who look the best batsman in the region presently

  • jared on June 6, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    well if patience is key then its advantage nz, only chanderpaul has any patience the rest of the windies love to go after the bowling and our attack is one of the most patient and disciplined in the world.

  • Dummy4 on June 6, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    If two spinners are to be played, I think the best team is:

    1. K. Williamson 2. H. Rutherford 3. B. McCullum 4. R. Taylor 5. C. Anderson 6. B. Watling 7. J. Neesham 8. T. Southee 9. I. Sodhi 10. T. Boult 11. M. Craig

  • CRIC on June 6, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    The region's pitches have been in decline for many years. Very few tracks offer any form of assistance to contribute toward attractive cricket. The ball needs to come onto the bat in order to encourage strokeplay and the quicker bowlers. A West Indian test side should be built upon the foundation of a strong pace attack - it is what it is, the tracks, along with the fitness levels and managemnet in recent years, leave a lot to be desired...

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