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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

WICB seek meeting with BCCI to minimise damage

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Duleep Trophy Semi-Final, Central Zone vs North Zone: Players to watch out for

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Boyfriend Vs. Parents — Call In The Referee ‘Paging Pri’

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Drink ginger tea to relieve a migraine naturally

Allocate spectrum to telcos within 90 days after payment: Panel

How BMI and BMR play a role in weight loss

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s double standards; Puneet Issar’s aggressive avatar

Box Cricket League 2014: All you need to know about the sports reality show

Indian Painting Exhibit Kicks off at Quebec City

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here