West Indies v New Zealand, 1st ODI, KingstonKiwis Looks Redemption Against Windies05-Jul-2012 06:20:00 GMT
Kingston: Early today morning the Blackcaps will get a chance at redemption after two disappointing Twenty20 performances in Florida.
Having relocated to the Caribbean the New Zealand side face now face an even bigger challenge, as they prepare to take on the West Indies in the ODI and Test series on their own soil.
Despite not getting off to a dream start, there's still a lot of belief around the camp that they can get the job done.
Achieving that goal would be a huge boost for the Blackcaps as they attempt to carry on their strong record against West Indies in ODIs.
Having had a little more time to prepare for the series, the team will feel far better prepared for the new format. Let's be frank – it was a rusty looking outfit in Miami.
But that's behind them now. Even the first match casualty ward of Jacob Oram, Ronnie Hira and Ross Taylor has to be pushed to the back of the mind.
Make no mistake – this team is determined to prove the critics wrong.
And with the afore-mentioned injury of Taylor the Kiwis will now be looking to Williamson for inspiration – recently made the youngest Captain in New Zealand history.
It's a rapid rise through the ranks for the boy from Tauranaga, but his composure is evident. If he and his support crew manage to deliver victory Thursday it would be a helpful start to turning the series round.
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.
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.
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.
West Indies Darren Sammy (captain), Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Tino Best, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels
New Zealand Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Andrew Ellis, Daniel Flynn, Martin Guptill, Tom Lathamc (wk), Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson
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
Thursday, July 5 2012
Start time 0930 local (1430 GMT)