West Indies v New Zealand 1st Test Live and Preview
It is the lower end of the ICC Test teams table that will be in action when the Test series between New Zealand and West Indies starts from Wednesday.
The two sides are ranked only above minnows Bangladesh. The first match will be played in Antigua.
West Indies are ranked ninth on the table and a comfortable series win will lift them into eighth place. The home side will be looking to seize the rare opportunity to dominate their opponents after getting the better of New Zealand in the limited over formats.
However, the task is not simple as the longer format of the game has not been very kind to them. They suffered at the hands of England and Australia earlier this year at home as well as away.
This time the prospects look good though with the return of Chris Gayle to the squad. Gayle will be playing his first test in more than 18 months.
The 13-man squad also consists of Assad Fudadin after the top-order batsman did reasonably well on his debut in England. Darren Bravo is nursing an injury while Fidel Edwards was not selected.
The Kiwi side will be hoping for a change in fortunes as they look to overcome the misery suffered in the T20s in USA as well as the defeat in ODIs.
The team has been troubled by injuries as well as Trent Boult and BJ Watling have been ruled out of contention for the first Test.
This leaves only 13 players available in the squad and Neil Wagner, the left-arm fast bowler, has a strong chance of making his debut. Ross Taylor will lead the team which will also have Brendon McCullum in the line-up that should add a lot of depth.
Daniel Vettori’s experience will come in handy though as he looks to play an important role with both bat and ball.
This will be only the third Test match to be played in Antigua, with the earlier two having ended in draws.
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