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NZ v WI 1st ODI Preview: Kane Williamson & Co. look to continue their dominance

Once a power-packed unit, the Windies will look to seal the series and head to the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe next year in a positive frame of mind.

New Zealand team
New Zealand team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

An innings defeat was followed by a 240-run thrashing as the Windies failed to shake the Kiwi set up in the Test series. But in maroon, the tourists from the Caribbean island will have a better opportunity to clinch their maiden win of this tour after going down by six wickets against a New Zealand XI side in the practice game. The city of Whangarei will play host to the two sides, as big names stack up hopes.

The visitors will be without the services of Marlon Samuels, Sunil Narine, Sunil Ambris and Alzarri Joseph. 36-year-old Samuels is one of the most experienced campaigners in the Windies side but he has been ruled out with an injured right-hand. Joseph has a back strain while Narine has made himself unavailable for personal reasons. Ambris, who took part in the Test series is out with a fractured forearm.

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Skipper Jason Holder is back in the fold after missing out the Hamilton Test due to over-rate offence and he will be glad to see Chris Gayle walk into the dressing room, fresh from hitting 18 sixes during his unbeaten 146* in the BPL final. Once a power-packed unit, the Windies will look to seal the series and head to the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe next year in a positive frame of mind.

New Zealand, on the other hand, will look to keep things simple. They were impressive against Virat Kohli‘s men in India and gave them a run for their money in limited overs fixtures. In the absence of Colin de Grandhomme, who will return to Zimbabwe following the demise of his father, Doug Bracewell will have to shoulder the responsibility. Grandhomme was in good form during the Test series, where he smashed his maiden ton but the Kiwis will hope the rest to fire through all cylinders.

Playing Combination

New Zealand

The Kiwis are likely to replace Grandhomme with Bracewell but they can also opt for George Worker, who had a good run in recent times. With Tim Southee and Trent Boult taking their respective berths, it might be a toss between Adam Milne and Lockie Ferguson. The hosts will have firepower at the top in the face of Colin Munro. And with Ross Taylor and Tom Latham down in the ranks, skipper Williamson’s job will be to go with the flow as usual.

Probable XI:

George Worker, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson

Windies

For Windies, the openers look sorted- Chris Gayle and Elvin Lewis can demoralize any bowling attack on any given day while Kyle Hope is likely to play after making a solid 94 in the practice match. Ronsford Beaton, Sheldon Cottrell, Nikita Miller and Ashley Nurse will fight for two spots while Kesrick Williams can plan his strategy for tomorrow’s outing.

Probable XI:

Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope(wk), Jason Mohammed, ShimronHetmyer, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (C), Nikita Miller/Ashley Nurse,  Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell/Ronsford Beaton.

 

Focus will be on:

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

When you have someone like Chris Gayle in your side, you know that the opposition will sweat out making various plans and that you have a strong case even though the rest of the lineup looks like a pack of misfiring heads. He was in good touch in the BPL and he will look to fire in the new format. He carries an average of 39.69 against the Kiwis in 27 ODIs and he is aware of the conditions. The contest between Gayle and the two ‘T’s’- Boult and Southee can spice up Cobham Oval for good.

Colin Munro (New Zealand)

The left-hand batsman will be fired up after taking a blow to his left leg during a practice session. Munro was screaming loud as one of Ferguson’s delivery landed right on his leg. On his day, Munro can change the game on his head and the Kiwis will expect something similar from him. Munro has his eyes on the 2019 world cup and he knows how vital these opportunities are. He is aware of the strong middle-order in place currently and therefore it is the opening spot which Munro would like to seal.

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