The hosts will be high on confidence after taking the three-match T20I series 2-0. Their home form in Test matches has also been great. They will back themselves to take all the points from this series, giving themselves a chance to rise up the World Test Championship points table.
Meanwhile, West Indies have shown signs of brilliance in Test cricket, although those moments have been few and far between. Skipper Jason Holder and Roston Chase will hold the key if West Indies are to pose any challenge to New Zealand. They will also need to bowl with a lot of discipline.
While New Zealand will be the favorites to win, Jason Holder's team will certainly give their best and prevent the game from looking like a mismatch.
Date: December 3- 7, 2020 (Thursday- Monday)
Time: 03:30 AM (IST), 10:00 PM (GMT) (December 2nd), 11:00 AM (Local)
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
The temperature should be around 20 degrees Celsius on all five days of the match. Showers are expected on days 1, 3, and 5, and there could be quite a few rain delays.
The wicket at Seddon Park should favor the batsmen. There should be some assistance to the seamers early on in the game. Spin shouldn't play a major role except maybe for the final day.
New Zealand will be sweating over the fitness of regular keeper BJ Watling ahead of the first Test. Head coach Gary Stead confirmed that Tom Blundell will don the gloves if Watling is not fit to play. While Devon Conway has been added to the Test squad as Watling's cover, Will Young should play if Watling isn't fit.
They will likely go into the game with a six batsmen-five bowlers set-up, given that Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee are handy batsmen themselves.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young/ BJ Watling, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (WK), Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner.
Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell are likely to open the innings for the Windies, with Shamarh Brooks set to follow at No.3. Darren Bravo should play the anchoring role batting at No.4, with Roston Chase at No. 5.
Shane Dowrich will probably keep wickets for them while Jermaine Blackwood could be an extra batting option for them if he plays ahead of Rahkeem Cornwall.
Holder could lead a four-man pace attack that will include Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel. Young Chemar Holder could finally make his debut ahead of Alzarri Joseph.
West Indies: John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (WK), Jermaine Blackwood/ Rahkeem Cornwall, Jason Holder (C), Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, and Kemar Roach.
Given how strong New Zealand are and considering their great home record, it won't be a stretch to say that they should walk away with the match.
Prediction: New Zealand to win.