Today, the busy season of cricket is starting for West Indies when the first test starts at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
New Zealand is all set to play 27 matches from today till the end of March but only four of these will be test and rest of them are ODIs and T20 cricket.
The season is booked for tests to be played against West Indies and two matches against England. The Black Caps are ranked eighth in the world but it belied the threat from them to 4th ranked New Zealand, according to the reports from sports editor, Stephen Hewson.
In August, Shai Hope of West Indies became the first to score a century against England in August in both innings of a Test played at Headingly, Leeds. It is a test win for him and it sits over only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh currently on the world rankings.
Despite bottom rank, the Windies are a side and is on the rise this year as they have wiped out Pakistan. Not played any test in 9 months with the Black Caps should be taken seriously, according to Mike Hesson, New Zealand coach.
They are most likely more advanced despite being in a developing side. They started to be developed around 12 months ago when they chose to stick to the specific group of players as well as the last six months they played some of the good crickets in Zimbabwe and England, which are the two most highlighted countries. Hence, they are on a young side which is very talented and they also have some talented players who are all set to become leading names, according to Hesson.
Few of the squad of West Indies played at New Zealand Test, along with all-rounder Kemar Roach, who is among the seniors in this side, with 42 tests under belt.
According to Roach, though they don’t have much experience in the conditions of New Zealand, the test win against England last year in Leeds has presented the side when they have capability and he believes that the condition will be similar to the team of England.
Roach added, “The second England test was truly historic. It gave improved sense of belief and players seem to be too confident to beat top teams. Once we start believing in ourselves, no one can stop us.”
The Black Caps donned their whites last time for the test was 9 months back in Hamilton against South Africa while tourists finished the win of the series in Zimbabwe only a couple of weeks ago and Kane Williamson, New Zealand skipper, concedes that it is going to be tough to adjust.
According to Williamson, “We’ve had little breather from test match and played a bit of ODI but it is its nature and you may get used to it in some ways and adapting it is a bit of challenge but it is nice to get one first class match after India’s tour.” The second test will be played in Hamilton next week.