New Zealand defeated the Windies by an innings and 67 runs at the Basin Reserve in Wellington to go 1-0 up in the two-match Test series.
Left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner picked up seven wickets in the first innings, while Matt Henry picked up three wickets in the second one.
New Zealand’s prime fast bowler Tim Southee missed the first Test to attend the birth of his first child and is now back in contention for the second Test scheduled to begin on 9th December. In his absence, all the Kiwi fast bowlers did pretty well, and thus dropping anyone of them would be harsh on the player.
Southee, who had spearheaded the Kiwi fast bowling department for almost a decade now feels this healthy competition in the squad will get the best out of him. Southee will have to fight for his place in the second Test, and he said,
“It’s good to have that competition; it keeps guys striving to get better, no one ever takes their spot for granted. It comes with the territory of playing at this level. It’s an honor to play for your country – no one goes into it thinking they have the right to be there. You see it around training – the competitive edge with the guys. It brings out the best in all the players, knowing there’s guys knocking the door down, performing well in domestic cricket and bowling well in the nets as well. The amount of depth we’ve got is a pleasing sign, all reasonably young as well.”
The next Test will be played at the Seddon Park in Hamilton, and the ground has been a happy hunting place for the right arm quick, as he has picked up 34 wickets at an average of 19.55 and felt that New Zealand will do well in whatever conditions they get. Southee said,
“Usually it’s a good wicket here, a good cricket wicket. It usually does swing a little, but again, there’s been matches where it hasn’t.
“So, it’s more about adapting to the wicket, and I think we’ve done that reasonably well, not only here, but at most of the grounds around New Zealand over the last few years. Looking at that surface on day one [in Wellington] and you think that Neil Wagner took seven-for with, I think, six of them being bouncers, you’re probably wondering how it all happened. And I think that’s the strength of this group – we are able to adapt to different conditions, and I think that was a move that was made reasonably quickly and early on in the day. It takes courage on a green one to all of a sudden run in and starts banging it in halfway down. But that’s the beauty of this side – we’re willing to try things, and not all of the time it comes off, but when it does, it’s very satisfying.”