New Zealand vs. West Indies, 3rd Test: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview

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New Zealand vs. West Indies, 3rd Test: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview
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With little chance of the weather intervening, the three match series between New Zealand and the West Indies is heading for an exciting conclusion.

After an innings win in Wellington, the hosts hold a 1-0 advantage but if the Caribbean Islanders can finally find some consistency, on a Hamilton wicket that has produced just two draws in the 21st century, then the Kiwis will have a game on their hands.

 

Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton, NZ.

Date: Thursday, December 19, 2013 

Start time: 21:30 GMT

Weather: Mixture of sun and clouds with a 20% chance of rain according to weather.com.

TV Info: No UK TV coverage.

 

Overview:

The West Indies build-up to this crunch Test has been overshadowed by the ICC's decision to suspend Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels from bowling in the foreseeable future. While Samuels is primarily a batsman, the loss of Shillingford, the Windies' leading wicket-taker this year, is a huge blow and deprives Darren Sammy of his most dependable bowler.

IPL favourite, Sunil Narine, comes in as a replacement but with the seam unit currently being outgunned 35-13 in terms of series wickets, can Richie Richardson's men stop the Black Caps making another significant first innings score?

The batsman showed what they can do in their second effort at Dunedin, albeit, underpinned by Darren Bravo's double century. However, their next highest total score is just 213 from three attempts. On the plus side, unlike, say, England's troubles in Australia, most of their batsmen have made runs at some point. They just need to do it together in the same innings.

New Zealand's Ross Taylor will be wishing this was a five-match series having plundered 362 runs from three innings so far, but it's the bowlers who have been the real stars of the show, particularly new-ball pair, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, whose accuracy and swing have combined for 26 wickets.

The series has also seen young all-rounder Corey Anderson make big strides. The hard-hitting left-hander sees batting as his primary suit, but his bowling has proved to be economical while collecting four wickets in the process.

With an unchanged line-up named, Brendon McCullum's men will go for the jugular against a stuttering opponent that appear to be on the rack. 

The Kiwis have played 19 Tests at Hamilton, winning seven and losing six. The last time these teams met at the venue, the West Indies finished day one on 282/1 but remarkably still lost the match.

  

Teams

New Zealand (probable): 1 Hamish Rutherford, 2 Peter Fulton, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt), 6 Corey Anderson, 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Ish Sodhi, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

West Indies (probably)1 Kieran Powell, 2 Kirk Edwards, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Tino Best, 11 Shannon Gabriel

 

Key Players

Trent Boult blasted the Windies away at Wellington with match figures of 10 for 80 giving him 15 for the series and 41 in the calender year. 

While not as sharp as the similarly en vogue left-armer, Mitchell Johnson, the 24-year-old's ability to move the ball both ways has proved more than a match for the opposition batsmen, and a green top at Hamilton could reap further rewards.

The presence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the crease, can give bowlers nightmares with his awkward-looking stance making him difficult to bowl to. But the 39-year-old's unorthodox method has enabled him to score over 11,000 Test runs and how his country could do with a typical limpet-like innings here to give them the upper hand rather than having to chase for once.

 

Who will win?

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Prediction

With Hamilton expected to provide a bowler-friendly wicket, on paper New Zealand have the better equipped attack to take advantage of it. There's a good feeling around the Black Caps at the moment and with the Windies still reeling from the Shillingford expulsion, expect Brendon McCullum's men to win comfortably.

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