Kiwis to seek rebound
NEW Zealand batsman Martin Guptill is expecting an improved showing from the visitors in the One-Day International (T20) series against West Indies, which starts tomorrow at Sabina Park in Kingston.
After arriving in the island on Monday evening, New Zealand had their first practice session at Sabina Park yesterday, and the opener told the local media the team is anxious to "right the wrongs" after a sub-par showing in the Twenty20 (T20) series loss to the West Indies in Lauderhill, Florida last weekend.
"We are expecting to compete. We got a good side here and we believe that we have an opportunity to right the wrongs that happened (in Florida)... We didn't really step up as well as we should have. We have the opportunity now to rectify that in this One-Day series and hopefully put in good showings," Guptill said.
Captained by 21-year-old batsman Kane Williamson while regular skipper Ross Taylor is sidelined for approximately two weeks with a shoulder injury, the Black Caps' bowling attack will be keen on containing the thunderous batting threat posed by the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.
Playing in the Caribbean, where the pitches are likely to be similar to the surface found in Florida and again favour West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine and wrist-spinner Samuel Badree, the visitors' batsmen also have their hands full.
Though without Taylor and Brendon McCullum, the 25-year-old Guptill suggested that other batsmen including left-hander Daniel Flynn, opener Rob Nicol and new recruit Dean Brownlie will have to step in to offset the absence of the experienced pair.
"Without Brendon and Ross in the side we lose a bit of experience, but the other guys are in the squad for a reason and can step up when required. We really know what we need to do to rectify what we did in the Twenty20s and play a lot better so hopefully, the batsmen, bowlers and everyone in the squad are on board," said New Zealand's top-ranked T20 batsman, while adding, "we haven't been together as a team for a couple of months. Hopefully, being together again will get everyone back on their feet."