ICC World Cup 2019: Warm-up Match 9, New Zealand vs Windies, Preview – Can the Caribbean juggernaut upset the Kiwi rhythm?
New Zealand and Windies are full of power hitters they would want to unleash in this encounter.
Published - May 27, 2019 8:30 pm | Updated - May 27, 2019 8:30 pm
No one can forget what happened the last time these sides met in the World Cup in 2015, Martin Guptill fired his way to a brilliant 237 as New Zealand thumped the Windies in one of the most one-sided quarter-finals in recent times. Nevertheless, things are very different now, with the Caribbean side posing a more serious challenge than they did previously.
Things definitely have gotten better for the 2-time world champions, but they still are not impregnable. There are various loopholes in their side, beginning with the addition of too many proven T20 stars who have not shown enough promise in this format as yet.
New Zealand registered a stunning win against India, with their fast bowling unit and experienced batsmen chipping in with crucial contributions. Most of their bowlers got some good match practice ahead of the big tournament and they look all set for the battle royale to commence.
With Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor getting some runs, the likes of Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham and Tom Blundell might get a chance to bat higher in the order. Colin de Grandhomme too could get some time in the middle towards the end. Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner will be getting more overs if the pitch remains on the slower side. Boult should bowl only a few overs with Ferguson and Matt Henry handling the major responsibility.
Kane Williamson (C), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tom Blundell (wk), Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi
The Caribbeans will want all their main batsmen to get some runs under the belt. Gayle and Evin Lewis are expected to open – Darren Bravo, who has not been in any good form recently, will be desperate to get some confidence. Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell will walk in to have a go in the middle order. Ashley Nurse’s selection didn’t go down well with experts but with some slower tracks expected during the tournament, he might get some purchase. The fast bowling quartet of Roach, Thomas, Cottrell and Gabriel will be bowling a minimum of 5 overs.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder (C), Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope (wk), Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell
Focus will be on
Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
Guptill hammered a double century and the second best individual total in ODIs during their last meeting. In his last few outings in professional cricket, he got starts but failed to make it big. There is a huge responsibility on his shoulders at the top with Munro slightly out of touch and he will be keen to get a big score against one of his favourite oppositions.
Andre Russell (Windies)
We all have seen how good he is in the shortest format, but his prowess in ODIs is still a little untested. Russell can bat and bowl to great effect though as his statistics suggest, which makes the management instil a lot of confidence in him. He scored nearly 1000 runs in ODIs to go with 65 wickets, which is a decent record for a cricketer in 54 matches. The kind of form he is in, this could be one great chance for him to etch his name in history books forever.
Head to head
Matches Played – 64 | New Zealand won – 27 | Windies won – 30 | No result – 7
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