After recording a thumping win by an innings and 134 runs in the first test, New Zealand would look to clinch the series 2-0 against West Indies.
The skipper, Kane Williamson was rightfully adjudged the man of the match award for his superb knock of 251 which was also his career-best score. Windies batting line-up folded up for just 138 in the first innings. The visitors showed some resistance with Jermaine Blackwood's fine century and Alzarri Joseph's fighting knock of 86 but in the end, it never proved to be enough.
The wicketkeeper, BJ Watling is expected to be fit for this match after missing the last game. Will Young may have to sit out with Watling coming back. Tom Blundell may be pushed up the order.
West Indies will be without their most experienced pacer, Kemar Roach as his father passed away recently. They will also miss wicketkeeper, Shane Dowrich due to a hand injury and personal reasons.
Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer or Joshua Da Silva may take their places and Chemar Holder will also be in the reckoning.
Pitch and Conditions
The action shifts from Hamilton to Wellington now. The wicket will flatten out as the match progresses. There will be a bit of grass for the pacers. The spinners may not expect the ball to turn from the hard pitch. The conditions for the first two days are ideal for batsmen.
Probable Playing XI
New Zealand (NZ): BJ Watling, Tom Latham (c), Will Young, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Daryl Mitchell, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee
West Indies (WI): Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, Shimron Hetmyer/ Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder (c), Roston Chase, Shannon Gabriel, Keemo Paul/Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph
Tom Latham vs Shannon Gabriel
Latham smashed 86 in the last match. He usually grinds out the new ball by playing cautiously and sets the stage for free stroke-making as time passes. He lends a lot of balance to his side. He should target to get a century as these pitches are excellent for batting.
Gabriel picked up three wickets in the last game. He is an integral part of the Windies attack with his raw pace and consistent line and length. He is just three more wickets away from reaching the 150-wicket mark in test cricket. The muscular fast bowler may reach that record this match.
Jermaine Blackwood vs Neil Wagner
Blackwood scored a sparkling 114 in the previous match. He is an aggressive lower-middle order batsman. He can frustrate the bowlers with his solid defense and tough resistance. for long periods. The right-hander can also up the ante by rotating the strike regularly when he is in full flow.
Wagner scalped six wickets in the last game. He is the number two ranked test bowler in the world now. He can swing the ball both ways and trouble the batsmen with his clever angles. His well-directed short ball can trouble Blackwood. He is a wicket-taking bowler who always opts for attacking lines.
The hosts would start as strong favorites to win the series comfortably. Windies will be playing for pride as they aim to win their first match on the tour. They need to pull off a miracle to emerge victoriously.
Cricwizz predicts New Zealand to win the match and clinch the series 2-0.