Second Test preview: West Indies v New Zealand

New Zealand

The series opener was rather one-sided, but different conditions and changes in personnel are sure to bring a more competitive second Test.

The series opener was rather one-sided, but different conditions and changes in personnel are sure to bring a more competitive second Test.

Contemporary cricket betting odds don't beg to differ, with <a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>the West Indies at 6/4 and New Zealand 7/4 to claim a win, while a draw is placed at 9/4.</b></a>

Queen's Park Oval is bound to prove more conducive to pace than Sabina Park. The Black Caps will toy with the addition of seamer Neil Wagner ahead of Mark Craig, but dropping the Man of the Match in Jamaica wouldn't really be justified.

Craig was outstanding on debut, albeit against a fragile opposition order. Bringing balance to the attack, he should be an afforded an extended run in the first-choice XI.

The Windies, meanwhile, are on the brink of blooding rookies Jermaine Blackwood and Leon Johnson. The out-of-form Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels have paid for their sins by being dropped – and the arrival of the uncapped duo is by no means a knee-jerk reaction. The time is now for the Windies' newer school.

Visiting captain Brendon McCullum lauded triumph in Kingston as "near perfect" and host coach Ottis Gibson has consequently been placed on "thin ice" by renowned West Indian pundit Tony Cozier. Who will crack first?

The veteran Chris Gayle endured a largely forgettable 100th Test match cap, but <a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>Paddy Power's cricket section</b></a> reckon number 101 will treat him well, with complimentary decimals hinting the big left-hander will top the run-scoring ranks this time.

<b>Key Men</b><br>Samuels and Powell's exit will leave a lot of pressure on the shoulders of <b>Darren Bravo</b>, who will want to come to the proverbial party against a confident opposition attack.

Right-arm fast bowler <b>Tim Southee</b> is enjoying a fine stretch of form, reaping the plaudits for it. This fixture will present another chance to truly set himself apart as the country's spearhead for the foreseeable future.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2014: First Test: New Zealand won by 186 runs in Kingston<br>2013: Third Test: New Zealand won by eight wickets in Hamilton<br>2013: Second Test: New Zealand won by an innings and 73 runs in Wellington<br>2013: First Test: Match drawn in Dunedin<br>2012: Second Test: West Indies won by five wickets in Kingston

<b>Probable Teams</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Denesh Ramdin (captain), Chris Gayle, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Jermaine Blackwood, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Shane Shillingford, Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel.

<i>New Zealand:</i> Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (captain), Tom Latham, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi.

<b>Dates:</b> 16-20 June<br><b>Morning session:</b> 10:00-12:00 (14:00-16:00 GMT)<br><b>Afternoon session:</b> 12:40-14:40 (16:40-18:40 GMT)<br><b>Evening session:</b> 15:00-17:00 (19:00-21:00 GMT)<br><b>On-field umpires:</b> Ian Gould and Rod Tucker<br><b>Third umpire:</b> Richard Illingworth<br><b>Match referee:</b> Chris Broad