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Pollard will hope for better show from bowlers as WI look to save series

NZ v WI, 2nd T20I, preview

West Indies’ bowlers struggled to contain the flow of runs against New Zealand in the first T20I and will aim to avoid similar mistakes on 29 November, Sunday.


New Zealand vs West Indies, 1st T20I
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Sunday, 29 November, 02.00pm local time, 01.00am GMT

West Indies moved below Afghanistan in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings after their loss to New Zealand on Friday. Their recent T20I performances and the tag as defending champions of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup haven’t gone hand-in-hand and West Indies are aware of it.

“It's sometimes tough - winning two T20 World Cups and ranking No. 9 in the world is kind of off-balance, but I believe we'll get back up there in the rankings,” opener Andre Fletcher stated before the first game of the series.

Their latest loss comes off the back of a poor middle-order collapse and some ill-disciplined death bowling in the final stages at Eden Park. West Indies know they are a dangerous T20I side, but they will need to be smart with their aggression if they are to push New Zealand out of their comfort zone.

They might consider handing a debut to Kyle Mayers, who impressed in the Caribbean Premier League, in place of Rovman Powell. Leg-spinner Hayden Walsh could also get a look in with the short boundaries at Eden Park out of the way. The opening duo of Brandon King and Andre Fletcher is likely to remain untouched after their blistering start on Friday.

The Kiwis, on the other hand, will rue the fact that they couldn’t bowl West Indies out for a lower total after they had dismissed the top-order inside the Powerplay phase. Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee were impressive for them with the ball, but bringing in Ish Sodhi could provide them with an additional spin option for Hamish Bennett. Kyle Jamieson, who Shane Bond rates rather highly, could get a longer rope despite an ordinary debut in T20Is.

Remember the last time

West Indies’ only T20I win in New Zealand came in a Super Over back in 2008. It is bizarre that despite the short boundaries and flat pitches aiding their style of play in T20s, Windies haven’t had much luck in the country. Kieron Pollard's onslaught at the death gave them a massive total at Eden Park. But James Neesham and Mitchell Santner's equally destructive knocks overshadowed Pollard's innings.

What they said:

Devon Conway (New Zealand batsman): “I don't listen too much about the expectations people have for me. I think about staying in the moment and to focus on the task at hand. Whatever else happens, happens. I try to get away from that sort of thing."

Kieron Pollard (West Indies captain): “A bit of indiscipline showed for us, in the bowling, and losing five wickets in that space of time in the batting too. Having said that, we put a challenging total. International cricket, five-six no balls, high full tosses, that's not good. So, we have to come back stronger, we have to be mentally tough.”

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