Scattered West Indies look for inspiration
The fourth and last quarter final between one of the CWC15 favorites, New Zealand and a feeble West Indies side will take place on Saturday.
Winning all six matches in the group stage New Zealand has been formidable and relentless in their performance. Under Brendon McCullum’s audacious leadership the team has made strides in the ODI format in the last six months preceding the world cup.
The manner in which they approach a game has been different and the team is looking to go for the kill after pushing the team into the back room. The fielding positions against teams like England and Australia displays the confidence captain implants in his bowlers.
Road to Quarter Final for NZ in CWC15
Won by 98 runs against Sri Lanka
Won by 3 wickets against Scotland
Won by 8 wickets against England
Won by 1 wicket against Australia
Won by 6 wickets against Afghanistan
Won by 3 wickets against Bangladesh
Those are the strong performances any team would like to have before entering into the knockout stages. But those wins may have camouflaged an aspect of their team, batting.
Apart from the first game against Sri Lanka they have chased in all games and short chases too. So they could be in for a fix if they have to bat first and set the score. The scenario would be different then. A flamboyant 50 off 25 balls by the captain top of the order would take them to 10 overs to the least. They need to have a batsman who could bat sensibly at least till 40 overs. With Ross Taylor out of form the onus falls on Kane Williamson to take the innings forward.
Grant Elliot and Corey Anderson have not batted with responsibility. Game against Australia, where they needed to get 152, was dragged unnecessarily. Lower order batsmen like Elliot, Anderson and Luke Ronchi should have completed the game but they were complacent in their play.
In the game against Bangladesh too, where they were required to chase relatively stiff total of 289, the lower middle order faltered as it were the bowlers who ensured an escape from embarrassment for the co hosts.
Bowling, however, has been impeccable. Bowling teams out for paltry totals has made the job easier for the Kiwis. Daniel Vettori has made the best comeback he could. He is not spinning the ball much but the pace variations and the length have confounded the batsmen. It was his guile which triggered a batting collapse for Australia.
Tim Southee and Trent Boult have been impressive as they have swung the ball and that too at pace. With not many bowlers getting swing in the tournament these have been special.
West Indies, however, seems a team undeserving of a spot in the quarter finals. The manner of their losses tells the story of the frame of mind they are in. Batting has not fired in CWC15 as Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Ramdin have all failed with the bat.
Apart from innings of 215 against Zimbabwe, Gayle has looked uninterested to say the least. With the team’s hopes hinged on his batting he needs to put in more effort. His batting partner too is going through a horrific period in the world cup. He has scores of 15-22-31-0-23-18 in this world cup.
Bowlers have done a reasonable job for the team with Jerome Taylor notching up the pace and Kemar Roach and Jason Holder playing a decent support role.
New Zealand side looks settled and they have no reason to change their XI. However their batting needs to be tested.
New Zealand (probable) : 1. Brendon McCullum 2. Martin Guptill 3. Kane Williamson 4. Ross Taylor 5. Grant Elliott 6. Corey Anderson 7. Luke Ronchi 8. Daniel Vettori 9. Tim Southee 10. Trent Boult 11. Mitchell McClenaghan
West indies might leave out Dwayne Smith if Chris Gayle is fit for the game. Other than that no changes are expected.
West Indies (probable) : 1. Johnson Charles 2. Chris Gayle 3. Marlon Samuels 4. Johnathan Carter 5. Lendl Simmons 6. Denesh Ramdin 7. Darren Sammy 8. Andre Russell 9. Jason Holder 10. Jerome Taylor 11. Kemar Roach
Match is to be played at Wellington in New Zealand. The same ground where New Zealand pacers rattled the England batting line up.
Three matches have been played at this ground in this world cup which saw scores of 123-309-341. The teams batting first won on two occasions while South Africa successfully defended 341 against UAE.
With small boundaries and the pacers expected to be assisted in the early hours, captain might chose to bowl first after winning the toss.
New Zealand is 1.32 to win the match which is not inflated price as West Indies has been in shambles in this world cup. We are going with New Zealand to win the game all the way.