The last time Windies won a Test series outside Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh was way back in 1995 when they defeated the Kiwis in their backyard.
It was possible due to the hounding which the Kiwis received at the hands of Windies at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, and after 23 years they will be meeting New Zealand at the same venue despite having a relatively weaker team this time around.
However, they will gain heart from their few recent impressive performances which also saw them beat England in a Test match in their den. Following their Test win in England, Windies followed it up with a series victory against Zimbabwe. Shai Hope has been the star performer for Windies in the recent past which will their biggest takeaway from the Test series against England and Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Sunil Ambris who got drafted into the squad in place of Kyle Hopes made an immediate impression by smashing a sensational 153 off 145 deliveries in the tour game. The innings coming against a strong New Zealand A side will definitely give him immense confidence going into the opening test at the Wellington starting Friday.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are down with a couple of injuries to their regular members of the team. Wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling who has been pretty impressive in the recent past won’t be part of the game and will get replaced by Tom Blundell who will look to seize his opportunity in Watling’s absence. The home team have already announced their playing XI and have opted to go with Matt Henry ahead of Lockie Ferguson.
The home team have already announced their playing XI ahead of the opening Test in Wellington. BJ Watling, their regular wicket-keeper won’t be featuring in the opening Test, and Tom Blundell has been named his replacement. With Tim Southee sustaining an injury, Matt Henry has been named in the XI ahead of Lockie Ferguson.
Playing XI: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (WK), Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
They are expected to hand the maiden Test cap to Sunil Ambris who performed brilliantly in the warm-up game against New Zealand A scoring a whirlwind 153 off 145 deliveries. Bowling combination for the visitors might also alter especially due to the switch from spin-friendly to seamer friendly wickets.
Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Sunil Ambris, Shane Dowrich(w), Jason Holder(c), Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel, Jermaine Blackwood, Miguel Cummins, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach