New Zealand and West Indies drew their first Test after a batting fight back from the West Indies. The two sides will now square off again, and both teams have it all to play for.
Venue: Basin Reserve, Wellington
When: Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2013
Start time: 9:30 p.m. GMT (10:30 a.m. local)
Live on: Sky Sport NZ
Weather: There has been quite a lot of rain leading up to the Test, but the rain looks to clear up before the start of play. Accuweather predicts cool temperatures with a few clouds around for most of the Test.
The first in Dunedin somehow ended in a draw with New Zealand having caught 33 runs short of a win. It was one of those inexplicable instances in cricket when, even though there wasn't a winner, one side felt like a winner, and the other felt like a loser. The match had it all, from double centuries to some fine bowling, but it also had some terribly poor efforts from both sides.
The West Indies were outplayed for the first two days, but they bounced back and dug in deep to put up a fight. If the islanders can find a way to play in the second Test like they did in the second half of the first one, this match will be a real contest. Of course, the Windies still aren't favourites to win, mostly because their bowling attack is so weak.
Tino Best and Shannon Gabriel are shadows of the fierce West Indies fast bowlers of old, and there won't even be much in the pitch for them to exploit. It will be slow and frustrating going, and the winner will emerge from the side who manages to hold their nerve in these kind of conditions the longest.
There won't be too many changes, with the only big chances expected being that of Kane Williamson. Williamson is fit again after recovering from a fracture and will most likely replace Aaron Redmond at number three.
New Zealand have had some help in the batting department from Craig McMillan who was drafted in to help out the side during their preparations with first-choice Bob Carter being away at a wedding. Whether he actually had an impact will remain to be seen.
The pressure remains on the hosts, and that pressure will grow as they have not won a Test at the Basin Reserve since 2008. The heat will be on the Black Caps, while the West Indies will be breathing a bit easier.
Kane Williamson is most likely to return to the side and after showing good form against Bangladesh, the youngster will be hoping he can pick things up where they stopped prior to his injury. New Zealand need an anchor in that role at No. 3, and Williamson will be just that.
Darren Sammy, likeable as he is, is under the pressure with his performances which have been average at best. He bounced back in the first Test, though, and showed some spark with both the bat and ball, and if he does it again, he will be a mainstay of the Windies side.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, DougBracewell, Aaron Redmond, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk)
West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Kirk Edwards, Veerasammy Permaul, Marlon Samuels, Chadwick Walton (wk), DeneshRamdin, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Shannon Gabriel, Kieran Powell, Shane Shillingford
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