|Finished.519/7 - 138 & 196/6Read 5 things we learnt from NZ vs WI|
Following their 2-0 defeat in the T20 series (for those who haven’t been following the series, the third match was washed out), the West Indies will now face New Zealand for a two-match test series. Under different circumstances, the visitors might have felt optimistic about potentially taking revenge, but the West Indies haven’t won a test series in New Zealand since Courtney Walsh took 13 wickets in a match to give his side a 1-0 series win all the way back in the 94/95 season. Of course, the Kiwis will be drawing comfort from this, and being the second-best test team in the ICC rankings, they will be all set to gobble up some World Test Championship points with what they hope will be two wins. Down in eighth place, the West Indies have a lot to prove - and this would be a good time to start. Before the two teams get busy on the field, let’s take a look at how they measure up.
New Zealand Squad, Preview, & Form
There’s a reason why New Zealand are ranked so highly in tests - The last time they lost a series at home was to South Africa in the 2016/2017 season, and overall, they have only lost two of their last twelve test series. That kind of form deserves plaudits. Williamson’s is always a welcome sight, as are names like Blundell, Latham, Nicholls, Taylor, and Watling alongside his in the batting department. Meanwhile, Boult returns from injury, and should pose quite the threat alongside Jamieson, Santner, Southee, and Patel.
New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young, Mitchell Santner
West Indies Squad, Preview, & Form
Having only played 9 tests in the last two calendar years, and plagued by many internal issues within their cricketing body, the West Indies are well on the back foot. As we already said, the last test series they won in New Zealand was a quarter of a century ago, but on top of that, the last time they won a test series against the Black Caps at all was a long 8 years ago on home turf. Nevertheless, they managed to beat England in the first match of that series, so with the West Indies, you just never know.
West Indies Test squad: Jason Holder (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua De Silva, Jayden Seales, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymond Reifer.
Head to Head
The West Indies’ record against New Zealand isn’t that bad - 13 wins to the Kiwis’ 15 - but most of those losses came in the last decade or two. Moreover, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are brutal at Hamilton’s Seddon Park, with the former picking up a ridiculous 46 wickets from 9 tests, and the latter 33 from 7. Add to that the fact that Kane Williamson has one of only two double centuries at this ground and averages a ridiculous 75 at the venue, and you have a recipe for potential disaster. All arrows point to a West Indian defeat, but with the Men in Maroon, you can get an upset anytime, anywhere.
NZ vs WI 1st Test Predictions
With the Kiwis’ situation being so very fortuitous, one must wonder if they might just end up becoming complacent. Expect Kane Williamson and BJ Watling to shine with the bat, while Neil Wagner and Tim Southee show their skills with the ball.
The one thing that can truly help the West Indies even the status quo is team spirit and morale. Expect Jermaine Blackwood and Kraigg Brathwaite to score plenty of runs, while Jason Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall get plenty of wickets.
Will New Zealand add a simple +1 to their stats against the Windies? Or will the Caribbeans silence their critics with a surprise victory? Find out starting Thursday!
|NZ Top Batsman:|
|WI Top Batsman:|
|NZ Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|WI Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|K Williamson/BJ Watling/T Latham (NZ), J Blackwood/K Brathwaite/S Brooks (WI)|
|Players to score a century:|
|K Williamson/BJ Watling (NZ), J Blackwood/K Brathwaite (WI)|