What do you think of when you hear ‘New Zealand vs West Indies’ cricket T20I series? Big hitting, run-fests, and of course, Super Overs.
New Zealand have featured in SEVEN Super Overs, six in T20I – losing all seven of them, and the first two against the mighty West Indies.
Where did it all start? The first super over was a thriller between West Indies and New Zealand, back in the day with Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum.
Anyway, we cannot wait for this series to get underway! Here is my preview for the New Zealand vs West Indies T20 series. Read till the end for my prediction!
Who do you think will be the winner? The suprise package? Comment below!Embed from Getty Images
WI: Star-Studded T20 line up the highlight
- Shimron Hetmyer-Pooran-Pollard-Powell-Fabian Allen form a spectacular middle-order. Watch out for Pooran, one of the most exciting talents in the world right now and definitely for West Indies cricket.
- Captaincy seems to have pushed Pollard to another level. At the IPL – 268 runs at a strike rate of 191.42 and CPL – 207 runs at 204.95, he is coming in with dangerous form. What more? Pollard was a key member of TKR and MI teams, this year’s winner at the CPL and IPL respectively
- Andre Fletcher-Brandon King might be the new opening combination of the WI. Relatively inexperienced pair, but explosive nevertheless
NZ: Inexperience with a Williamson-sized hole
- Kane Williamson is sitting out of the T20s to prepare for the Test series. As seen in the IPL, he is valuable in any position, and hence, NZ will miss him dearly
- If one of Guptill-Seifert-Phillips come to the party, New Zealand might be able to put competitive scores
- The finishing prowess is a concern. Santner and Neesham have finishing pedigree but lack of game time in the IPL and only Taylor/Mitchell may hurt NZ
WI: Death Bowling the Weakness for West Indies
- The swinging conditions early on might aid Cottrell against NZ’s heavy top order
- Hayden Walsh Jr. vs Ross Taylor will be a key battle to watch out for
- Death bowling options? Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams, Oshane Thomas? All decent but not yet convincing
NZ: A Boult-Size Hole In the Bowling Department
- Trent Boult rested after a successful IPL, including a match-winning performance in the final
- All eyes will be on Lockie Ferguson and the new kid on the block – Kyle Jamieson
- Ish Sodhi has been decent for New Zealand without ever going to greater heights – can he make a mark in this series?
The Broken Dream
WI: The Russell Muscle Question
- Andre Russell, injuries, and lack of communication – same old story. Does he still have a future with West Indies cricket especially with the T20 World Cups on the horizon?
- Lendl Simmons has played some of the most memorable innings but is still in-and-out of the squad. He is not in the squad for the T20 series.
- End of the road for Chris Gayle’s West Indies career?
NZ: Southee & Taylor – valuable experience or liability?
- Ross Taylor, one of the most underrated ODI batsmen of the century, but his T20 record is subpar. How many T20 caps can he add to his 100?
- Tim Southee, the limited overs bowler, has not lived up to his potential since his 7-33 in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He has even been at the wrong end of Super Overs. Can T20 captaincy bring back the spark?
Verdict: 2-1 West Indies
A depleted New Zealand team will still be hard to beat at home, but given the batting depth of the West Indies, I am giving the edge to West Indies 2-1.
Add to that, the West Indians have been coming from a successful IPL tournament, while the Kiwis, barring Boult (who is not playing this series), had nothing to show.
Who do you think will triumph in this contest? Comment below and let us know!
My Starting XI:
These are my starting XI for the first T20I (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).
Andre Fletcher, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Rovman Powell, Kieron Pollard*, Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr., Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell
Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Glenn Phillips, Ross Taylor, Daryll Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Jimmy Neesham, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee*, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi
These are the other options in the squads.
WI: Kyle Mayers, Romario Shepherd
*Note: New Zealand has 2 squads – first 2 T20Is, and 3rd T20I.
NZ: Hamish Bennett, Devon Conway
3rd T20I: Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Scott Kuggeleijn in (Ferguson, Taylor, Southee out – Santer will captain)
Image Courtesy: Westpact Cricket Stadium – Paladisious, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons