The visitors will be looking to win against the hosts and continue their winning momentum © Getty Images
By Bharath Ramaraj
Jul 5, 2014
After winning the Test series against the West Indies, New Zealand will go into the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Roseau full of confidence. On the other hand, Darren Sammy has a task on his hands to revive the sagging spirits of the West Indies unit. It has to be said that West Indies are a force to reckon with in T20Is.
West Indies will depend on the likes of Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons to provide them with good starts. Simmons was in fine form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 7. Darren Bravo brings solidity to the line-up. Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard are expected to provide the fireworks down the order. Chris Gayle, the explosive opener, has been rested for the short two-match series. In Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree, they have two spinners who can tie down the best in the business. Krishmar Santokie can swing the ball and has a few variations up his sleeve. Pollard, Sammy and Russel l can chip in with wickets too.
New Zealand, captained by Brendon McCullum — the highest run-getter in this format —have the required firepower to overcome West Indies in their own den. Kane Williamson at No 3 can play shots twinned with rotating the strike. Ross Taylor has the ability to up the ante in the middle-order.
In Jimmy Neesham and Corey Anderson they have two all-rounders who are made for the shortest format of the game. Their bowling will mainly depend on Tim Southee’s experience. Southee can also bowl well during the end overs of the innings. It would be interesting to see how Mark Craig bowls in the T20 format.
The Roseau ground in Dominica is a good track for batting, and batsmen from both teams would be looking forward to batting on it.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Samuel Badree, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Christopher Barnwell, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Mark Craig, Tim Southee.
Time: 23:30 IST
(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)