New Zealand and West Indies square off in Game 3 of their five-match series on Wednesday. The West Indies hold a 1-0 lead after winning the first game with the second match abandoned without a ball bowled due to bad weather.
What: New Zealand vs West Indies, 3rd ODI
Venue: Queenstown Events Centre
When: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014
Start time: 1 a.m. GMT/2 p.m. local
Live on: Sky Sport NZ
Weather: According to Accuweather, the news isn't too good. Plenty of rain is forecast throughout the day and, although it should clear towards lunch time, the weather will set in once again after 2pm.
If the first one-day international between New Zealand and the West Indies is anything to go by, then neither side are able to trust their batting department. The top order of both teams fumbled their way to lowly totals while the seam bowlers had a field day.
Following the abandonment of the second match and the weather not looking too great for the third, the pressure is on New Zealand to find some impetus from somewhere, even if that means their batsmen simply spending a little bit of time out in the middle.
Jason Holder, the West Indies quick bowler, predicted more of the same bowling devastation ahead of the second ODI last week. Holder, along with Ravi Rampaul, reduced the hosts to 15 for 3 after eight overs and Holder was hoping to carry that form to the second game, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Winning the opening ODI was a good start. We're right where we want to be and we're looking to carry that momentum through. The spirits are lifted and the mood has changed. We're more positive. I enjoyed bowling with Ravi as we both know how crucial those early overs are.
Just like the Auckland pitch in the first ODI, I'm eager to make full use of the pitch (in Napier). Ravi got two early in the last game and it was my job to keep it tight. I came back for my second spell and got a couple wickets so I'm enjoying the dynamic between Ravi and myself. The Christmas bonding as a team has us all in the right frame of mind and we're looking to keep going.
That second ODI never happened, of course, and the Windies will be hoping they get some time in for the second match. New Zealand have to up the ante and better their dismal showing in the first ODI. Not a single batsman in the top four managed to make it into double fingers and, overall, only two players passed the 20-run mark.
With a World Cup to prepare for in 2015, players have it all to play for at all times in order to prove that they are worthy of a spot in the squad for the showpiece.
Brendon McCullum was the only New Zealand batsman to score a fifty in the first ODI and although he bats in the middle order, his anchoring role will be key for the hosts.
Darren Sammy has rescued his side time and time again on this tour. It was his blistering batting, when he hit an unbeaten 43 off 27 in the first ODI, which led his side to victory. Sammy is becoming a reliable asset for his team and will once again have to step things up a gear and lead from the front.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (c), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles (wk), Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Chadwick Walton.