Based on recent performances, overall impact, and credit points, we have opted for a fantasy cricket team.
West Indies vs New Zealand 1st T20I Pitch Report
Only three T20Is have been played at the Sabina Park in Jamaica. Barring the West Indies vs India game in 2017, the other two games were low-scoring. Out of 36 wickets to fall, only 8 have belonged to the spinners.
Time: August 11, 12.00 AM IST
Probable Playing XIs for West Indies & New Zealand
Probable XI for West Indies: Kyle Mayers, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (c & wk), Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph/Keemo Paul, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Obed McCoy, Hayden Walsh
Playing XI for New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen (wk), Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Glenn Phillips has been enjoying his time in the middle lately. He has added 185 runs, including 2 half-centuries in his last 5 T20Is. When he last played against the West Indies in the format in 2020, he blasted 108 off only 51 balls.
In the same match, Devon Conway hammered 65 off 37 balls. He might be returning to international after a while, but his average of 50 in the format, including 4 half-centuries in 17 innings, should attract plenty of eyeballs in fantasy leagues.
It has been 8 T20Is since Ish Sodhi has gone wicketless. In fact, he has bagged 14 wickets in the period, including the best figures of 4 for 28.
Mitchell Santner surprised one and all by promoting himself to the No.3 position where he scored 77 off 42 balls in the final T20I against the Netherlands. With the ball, he has taken 4 wickets in the format in his last 5 outings.
Kane Williamson has never gone past the 40-run mark against the West Indies in 6 T20Is. That said, we know how he can accumulate runs by playing smart cricket. His last innings in the format was in the finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he scored 85 off 48 balls.
Like his skipper, Martin Guptill too doesn’t have great numbers against the West Indies. He has managed only 185 runs at 18 in 10 T20Is. However, he has the ability to cut loose in the powerplay and can change the complexion of the game in a jiffy.
Trent Boult’s swing bowling could cause problems for the West Indies. He has played only 3 T20Is against them and every time, he has ended up with 2 wickets per game.
Amidst the collective batting failure, Brandon King showed signs of promise against India. He has collected 165 runs, including 2 half-centuries in his last 5 T20Is.
The West Indies will heavily rely on their No.1 strike bowler Obed McCoy. After his six-wicket haul at St Kitts, he didn’t make much impact in the next three matches. All said, his tactical approach will keep him involved going forward.
If the West Indies are to compete in this series, they will need Nicholas Pooran to start firing on all cylinders. He, however, has been inconsistent recently: 34, 74*, 18, 14, 22, 24, and 3.
Similarly, Kyle Mayers has also blown hot and cold. Barring 2 half-centuries in his last 5 T20Is, he hasn’t set the stage on fire.
West Indies vs New Zealand 1st T20I Match Preview
Despite being the hosts, the West Indies will have plenty of self-doubts in their camp, especially after their 1-4 loss to India in the T20Is. On the other hand, New Zealand had a successful tour of Europe, where they won all the T20Is against Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands. They should start this series as the favourites.