Home > Features >

New Zealand tour of West Indies 2014: Kiwis have right blend of youth and experience to succeed

New Zealand will be looking to win only their second Test series away against West Indies © Getty Images
New Zealand will be looking to win only their second Test series away against West Indies © Getty Images

New Zealand will play their first Test match against the West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica on June 8 2014. Bharath Ramaraj analyses the squad selected to win only their second-ever Test series in the Caribbean.

By the end of the year 2012, when New Zealand was browbeaten by South Africa in a Test series, there were question marks raised over their five-day status. However, under the able leadership of Brendon McCullum, New Zealand have transformed themselves from the wallows of mediocrity into a fighting unit. At home, they beat both the West Indies and India. Now, New Zealand’s foot soldiers have embarked on a journey to the Caribbean Islands, as they look to win a Test series against the West Indies in their own patch, only for the second time.

If we have a sneak peek into New Zealand’s squad, they have a good mix of youth and experience in their ranks. Peter Fulton, Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford are the three options for the opening slot. In their warm-up game against Jamaica select XI though, Fulton did bat down the order. All three batsmen have had their issues with footwork. However, Rutherford is the one player who has the ability to play eye-catching strokes. It would be interesting to see Rutherford opening the batting with Latham. In the early 1990s, Ken Rutherford [Hamish’s father] and Rod Latham [Tod’s father] were teammates, while playing for New Zealand.

Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and McCullum form a fine middle-order. Williamson has the technique and the temperament to succeed in Tests. The experienced duo of Taylor and McCullum are fine stroke-makers in their own right. Taylor was in stupendous form against the West Indies. On the other end of the spectrum, McCullum touched celestial heights in terms of batsmanship against India. To throw in a word of caution here, both stroke-makers have to make slight adjustments to their games to do well on rather sluggish tracks of the Caribbean.

Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are the all-rounders in the setup. Neesham made a hundred on his debut against India at Basin Reserve, Wellington. But Anderson, known for his power-hitting most likely would play the first Test ahead of Neesham. He can also bowl left-arm medium-pace. Luke Ronchi and BJ Watling are the two wicketkeepers in the squad. Watling bats with a calm head on his shoulders and arguably is one of the better wicketkeepers going around.

Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are the frontline pacers. Boult makes good judges of the game blink their eyes in delight with his profusion of virtuosity to swing the ball late. He has the required skills to become a sparkling treasured star of the game and the best swing bowler going around. To make it even better for him, Boult is a left-arm quick. Southee too can make the batsmen dance to his tunes with swing. He also has a fine surprise bouncer up his sleeve. Neil Wagner puts his heart and sleeve into his bowling and can always be relied upon to bowl well with the old ball. New Zealand though, may lack the extra pace of Adam Milne, who is injured.

Ish Sodhi, the leg-spinner and Mark Craig, the off-spinner are the tweakers in the squad. Craig can also score useful runs down the order. This is an area where West Indies have an advantage. It has to be remembered that tracks in the West Indies including the one at Sabina Park, where the first Test will be played have slowed down. However, the weather conditions in June can still play a part. West Indies board also use Dukes ball these days and that means Boult and Southee can generate swing.

New Zealand performed exceptionally well at home in their last two series and now they will look to overcome the West Indies by defeating them in their own den.

Catch all the latest from New Zealand’s 2014 tour of West Indies here

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

ICC late in pulling up bowlers with suspect actions, feels John Davison

CLT20 2014: It was a disappointing finish for Northern Knights, says Tim Southee

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

CLT20 2014 final match timing revised

Afghanistan through to semi-finals in Asian Games 2014; beat Nepal by 8 runs

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Sushmita Sen celebrates Durga Puja!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Haider movie review: Shahid Kapoor and Tabu steal the show in Vishal Bhardwaj’s desi adaptation of Hamlet!

Latest Ebola News: First Ebola positive case confirmed in US

Bang Bang Dare: Salman Khan challenged by Hrithik Roshan!

Asian Games 2014 Medal Table: Japan 3rd in the Medal Tally with 38 Gold Medals

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

10 home remedies for acidity that really work!

Microsoft’s Windows 10 unveiled

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here