Rampant Black Caps reinforced

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After they rolled right over the West Indies in the first Test in Wellington the Black Caps hardly needed a boost for the second.

They have received exactly that though with senior paceman Tim Southee set to return to the XI joining Trent Boult and first Test star Neil Wagner.

The West Indies meanwhile will be without skipper Jason Holder who was suspended after an over-rate violation saw him hit with demerits that triggered a one Test suspension.

The captain plays an integral part in this team with both the ball and the bat and his presence will be missed.

Possible replacements for the skipper are Alzarri Joseph or uncapped left-arm fast bowler Raymon Reifer but the inclusion of either would lengthen the Windies tail though the latter is handy with the willow if inconsistent.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite will stand in as skipper while also trying to ensure he limits the damage New Zealand can do with the new ball.

Hamilton is renowned for having wickets that play differently depending on which strip is used but this Test will be played on the quicker side which should aid fast bowlers and batsmen.

After his impressive debut Tom Blundell has another opportunity to don the gloves for the Black Caps with BJ Watling still out injured.

New Zealand’s batting appears to be in a good space right now and the balance of the side should see them overcome a West Indies team that continues to rebuild.

Key Players

Kane Williamson is perhaps the best batsman to ever play for New Zealand and it is only a matter of time before he goes big.

Wagner had a fantastic Test in the first outing and while the tourists looked to attack him in the second innings he will be dangerous in Hamilton.

Shai Hope needs to find the form he showed in England if the West Indies are to stand any chance of leveling the series.

More responsibility will fall on Shannon Gabriel to lead the bowling attack with Holder absent.

Teams

New Zealand (likely): 1 Jeet Raval, 2 Tom Latham, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Mitchell Santner, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Tom Blundell (wk), 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

West Indies 1 Kraigg Brathwaite (capt) 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Shimron Hetmeyer, 4 Shai Hope, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Sunil Ambris, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Raymon Reifer/Alzarri Joseph, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Miguel Cummins, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Last five head-to-head results

2017 First Test: New Zealand won by an innings and 67 runs in Wellington
2014 Third Test: New Zealand won by 53 runs in Bridgetown
2014 Second Test: West Indies won by ten wickets in Port-of-Spain
2014 First Test: New Zealand won by 186 runs in Kingston
2013 Third Test: New Zealand won by eight wickets in Hamilton

Details

Hours of play (local time): 11:00 start (22:00-1d GMT 00:00 SAST), Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00
Match days: 09-13 December 2017
Umpires: Bruce Oxenford and Rod Tucker
TV Umpire: Ian Gould
Reserve Umpire: Chris Brown
Match Referee: Chris Broad

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