Third Test preview: Windies v New Zealand

New Zealand

The third and deciding Test between the West Indies and New Zealand takes place in Barbados at the Kensington Oval, with the Windies coming into the game on the back of a 10-wicket win in Trinidad which levelled the series.

The third and deciding Test between the West Indies and New Zealand takes place in Barbados at the Kensington Oval, with the Windies coming into the game on the back of a 10-wicket win in Trinidad which levelled the series.

As such, the hosts will be confident of a rare Test series win against a side not Zimbabwe or Bangladesh. To be fair though, the last time the sides played in the Caribbean, in 2012, the Windies did win the series.

Now they have a chance to do so again, after their excellent fight-back in Port of Spain, after losing the first Test by a whopping 186 runs. The key to the resurgence was runs at the top of the order, with Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo getting in the runs.

This time, with the Kiwis likely to come out firing on a track made for their pacemen, the rest of the Windies order will have to do well too. If Chris Gayle keeps the form that won them the second Test, albeit T20-style form, then this could be a high-scoring game.

The Black Caps batsmen, despite their capitulation in Trinidad, are not actually in poor nick, with Tom Latham leading the runs list with three half tons in four innings, and Kane Williamson also doing well with the bat.

While Williamson will be held under a microscope by the umpires, after his spinning action was reported to the ICC, this track might be more conducive to pace, and this is where the Kiwi quicks will have a chance to shine for once. They have added Neil Wagner to the side, replacing Ish Sodhi, given the track conditions.

In the first two Tests, spinners Sodhi and Mark Craig took the bulk of their wickets, with Trent Boult struggling and Tim Southee bolstering his figures with a four-fer. The Windies pace attack has been substantially better.

Jerome Taylor is the leading wicket-taker so far, topping a list of spinners, and the hard Bridgetown pitch should offer some assistance, especially early on. But the bowlers will have to be disciplined on a deck that can play like a road.

<b>Key Men</b><br>For the hosts, fast bowler Jerome Taylor will be vital, looking to add to the 10 wickets he already has in the series. He has come back from injury with renewed vigour and pace, and the Kiwis haven't really known how to deal with him.

The Black Caps will look to Kane Williamson with the bat, as he has a ton and a fifty to his name so far. If the openers fail again, he will be the anchor for a substantial innings, allowing the likes of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor to play expansively from the other end.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2014: Second Test: West Indies won by 10 wickets in Trinidad<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

<b>Squads</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Denesh Ramdin (capt), Sulieman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor, Jason Holder

<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> 26-30 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 Richard Illingworth<br><b>Third umpire:</b> Rod Tucker<br><b>Match referee:</b> Javagal Srinath

Latest