West Indies v New Zealand 1st ODI Live and Preview
It has not been seen often in recent times that West Indies enter into a series as the favorites. They will enjoy the rare moment though when they clash with New Zealand in the five-match ODI series starting from Thursday.
The hosts start as favorites following their dominating showing in the preceding T20s played over the weekend in Florida, United States.
Two comfortable wins, powered by Chris Gayle, showed a team that was remarkably different from the battered losers in England. Gayle once again holds the key for West Indies against a depleted Kiwi side.
Dwayne Bravo also boasts of an impressive record on home soil. His brother though will be unavailable due to a groin injury. Fidel Edwards is another player who misses out, though he has not played an ODI in three years.
In his absence, Sunil Narine would be the main weapon at captain Darren Sammy’s disposal after Narine caused problems in the T20s as well.
New Zealand’s slide as a competitive ODI team has now seen them slip to an ordinary team. To make matters worse, Ross Taylor, their captain, misses out once again due to injury.
Brendon McCullum would have been the obvious choice to replace him but McCullum was originally scheduled to rest for the ODIs. In such a scenario, Kane Williamson is all set to become the youngest New Zealand captain at the age of just 21, beating the previous record of Stephen Fleming.
Williamson has only 25 ODIs to his name and will lead the team until McCullum arrives midway through the series to fill in.
West Indies should walk in as favourites and it will be interesting to see whether the Kiwis can get going in this opening match.
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