Windies look to wrap up Test series against Kiwis
- Published on Thursday, 02 August 2012 09:33
- Written by Garfield Myers
- Hits: 773
Kingston, Jamaica (Jamaica Observer): As he looked ahead to today’s second and final Test against New Zealand, West Indies Captain Darren Sammy told journalists “it’s a long while we haven’t won two tests in a row”.
In fact we have to go back 10 years to 2002 in Bangladesh. And in the Caribbean we have to go back to 2000. Back then the James Adams-led West Indies swept Zimbabwe in a two-Test series in the Caribbean winning the last Test by 10 wickets at Sabina Park.
Sammy knows that nothing less will be expected of his team as they take the field at Sabina Park today against what’s been generally considered a weak New Zealand team. The job should be even easier with news yesterday that the visitors most decorated and experienced bowler, leftarm spinner Daniel Vettori is out with a groin strain.
West Indies, coming off last weekend’s nine-wicket triumph in the first Test in Antigua, will also be without a leading bowler — Ravi Rampaul who is also down with groin problems.
But the regional selectors will feel far less stressed than their New Zealand counterparts, in choosing between two Barbadian tearaways Tino Best and Fidel Edwards who have enjoyed Sabina Park in the past.
Best is favoured to take the spot since he was in the squad originally, while Edwards, who made a sensational debut at Sabina Park nine years ago, but has had a poor year thus far, was only called up following Rampaul’s injury.
Sammy appeared to say as much at the press briefing yesterday. “Tino has been bowling well and he was in the original squad so I think that gives him a massive edge,” said the West Indies captain.
Best or Edwards will partner fast-improving Kemar Roach, whose incisive spells on the final day of the first Test spell handed West Indies victory. Jamaican cricket followers will also recall Roach’s superb control at high pace as he took 5-31 for Barbados in a four-day regional game at Sabina back in February.
Again, the off-spinner Sunil Narine, who captured eight wickets and the Man-of-the Match award in Antigua, will be under the microscope on a pitch which usually provides bounce for all bowlers and sharp turn for spinners as it wears. Chris Gayle, who batted so dominantly in Antigua in his first Test since 2010, will want to do at least as well on his home turf during Jamaica’s 50th anniversary weekend.
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