emfizz.com December 16, 2017

Matt Henry to start for Blackcaps in opening West Indies Test

30 November 2017, 01:31 | Todd Saunders

WEST INDIES VS NEW ZEALAND: Worker replaces Southee for Black Caps

Tim Southee to miss opening West Indies Test

For the West Indies, however, who were once looking down as kings but are now looking up as subjects, it is like being once a man twice a child as they try to become a man once again.

While New Zealand have been starved of Test cricket since hosting South Africa in March, the Calypso cricketers are riding high after a 1-0 win against Zimbabwe following a dramatic victory at Headingley during a 2-1 Test series loss to England.

Speaking to reporters here yesterday in the build-up to the opening Test at the Basin Reserve, the 29-year-old said the Caribbean side had been prone to up-and-down performances in the past but were dealing with the issue through more intense preparation.

"I think the New Zealand team is a very good one and I think once we can come in here and perform well as we would like to do, go out there and put the best foot forward, it will be pretty much a good series".

Williamson also confirmed that wicketkeeper Tom Blundell will make his Test debut as he replaces BJ Watling, who is out with a hip injury.

Confirming the news, skipper Kane Williamson revealed that Henry has been preferred as Southee's replacement over fast bowler Lockie Ferguson for the first Test match.

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West Indies haven't won a Test in New Zealand since February 1995 when they secured a mammoth innings win at this venue.

While the Basin Reserve wicket continued to show a distinctly green hue on Thursday, Williamson described it as "really good" and said it would suit bowlers and batsmen over the five days.

"I think they're their main players, but you can't rule out a guy like Tom Latham".

Roach's return has been welcomed by the Windies as he has brought a new dimension to their attack with his experience and ability to move the ball both ways. Contrastingly, New Zealand are in a not-so-good place.

Trent Boult is feeling optimistic ahead of the Blackcaps first ODI match of the year against the West Indies in Wellington.

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