T20I series preview: West Indies v New Zealand

New Zealand

Not even a week after New Zealand won a rare Test series away from home, they must quickly switch mindsets and take on the West Indies in two T20Is in as many days, both in Roseau, Dominica.

Not even a week after New Zealand won a rare Test series away from home, they must quickly switch mindsets and take on the West Indies in two T20Is in as many days, both in Roseau, Dominica.

The Black Caps won the three-match Test series on the final day, taking the third Test by 53 runs in the last hour of play, after setting an exciting chase by declaring overnight. Such bold tactics will come in handy in the shortest format.

The Kiwis will have the same squad to call on, though a few changes are likely. Coach Mike Hesson has already confirmed that Jimmy Neesham will open the batting after playing in the middle order in the Tests.

Hesson wants to use the series to figure out a potential World Cup opening pair, so it remains to be seen who will open with Neesham: Kane Williamson or Martin Guptill, who opened in the World Twenty20.

Otherwise, Test wicketkeeper BJ Watling is likely to make way for Luke Ronchi, while all-rounder Corey Anderson will return to the middle order after not playing in the Tests. Spinner Mark Craig could be handed a format debut.

The hosts will be without talismanic opener Chris Gayle, who is being rested. He played in the Tests despite still nursing a back injury, and while he had one good innings in the first Test, and a match-winning one in the second, it's not enough to risk him.

While Marlon Samuels remains out of favour, dropped after the first Test, all-rounder Kieron Pollard will make a comeback. He has not played international cricket this year after an injury, but did play in the IPL to stunning effect.

Otherwise, Darren Bravo has been added to the squad after excellent form this year, but his brother Dwayne is still out of action after picking up a shoulder injury in the IPL. Batsman Chris Barnwell is another addition.

<b>Key Men</b><br>For the hosts, T20I spinner <b>Sunil Narine</b> will be the key. He averages under 18 in the format, and batsmen seem unable to play him consistently when under pressure. He hasn't played since the IPL, where he took wickets in nearly every game for champions Kolkata.

The Kiwis will look to batsman <b>Kane Williamson</b>, who is the toast of the town after his excellent efforts in the Tests. He is like AB de Villiers in his ability to adapt to formats, and if he opens well then big scores and chases are on the cards.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2014 Second T20I: New Zealand won by four wickets in Wellington<br>2014 First T20I: New Zealand won by 81 runs in Auckland<br>2012 WT20: West Indies won in a Super Over in Pallekele<br>2012 Second T20I: West Indies won by 61 runs in Lauderhill<br>2012 First T20I: West Indies won by 56 runs in Lauderhill

<b>Squads</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Darren Sammy (captain), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.

<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>Fixtures</b><br>First T20: 5 July at Roseau<br>Second T20: 6 July at Roseau

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