World Cup 2019, New Zealand v West Indies Warm-Up Match: 3 Key Battles that will decide the game
We end the warm-up fixtures for 2019 Cricket World Cup with New Zealand and West Indies squaring off against each other at the County Ground in Bristol. It promises to be a tantalising clash between two sides who haven’t been afforded much chance of winning the tournament, by the majority of the cricketing world.
Nonetheless, both sides come into the tournament equipped with a slew of word-class players.
If anyone was in doubt of New Zealand’s exemplary strengths as a cricketing side, the Kiwis stamped their authority trouncing India by 6 wickets. The New Zealand pace battery, led by Trent Boult, put in a fabulous display of swing bowling, as he broke the back of India's batting order, sending Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul back to the pavilion, within the powerplay.
Elsewhere, the West Indies saw their initial warm-up clash against South Africa being brought to an abrupt end by wet weather in Bristol.
It snatched away an important chance for the Windies to try out their best bowling combination, an area which is in massive need of repair before the World Cup gets underway.
With several intriguing in game battles in store, this is a fixture which promises to keep us engrossed throughout the 100 overs. We take a look at the key battles which will ultimately mould this encounter and decide which side comes out on top.
Shai Hope v Trent Boult
Boult is widely revered and coveted as one of the finest exponents of the new ball in international cricket and he showed just why against India. In a brilliant display of his skill and class with the new white ball, he decimated some of the biggest names in the Indian batting line-up, as he got the ball to sing to his tunes.
If there are overcast conditions in Bristol again, Boult would his time out in the middle. One of the biggest battles in this match will be between him and Shai Hope, both key components in their respective sides for this edition of the World Cup.
Although Shai Hope has been the batsmen to watch out from West Indies, scoring 100s at will, Boult is someone he absolutely hates facing.
He’s been dismissed twice by Boult in the three innings he’s played against New Zealand and the opener will yet again come head-to-head with the Kiwi spearhead.
The last time West Indies played here, only a few overs were possible in the first innings before rain decided to interfere, ending proceedings early on the day. The same forecast is in place for Tuesday with the conditions expected to remain overcast for a good period of the morning and scattered rainfall is a high possibility.
This will see the pacers enjoy their time out in the early exchanges with the ball dipping and getting steep bounce along with ample swing.
Kane Williamson v Jason Holder
Williamson is a sublime batsman, having in his artillery a full range of shots that can see him cue and connect the ball in only a manner than he can. Flicking, cutting, pulling and driving the ball all over the park, Williamson showed glimpses of regaining his lost touch against India with an innings that thwarted India’s frontline bowlers with ease.
He’s a mainstay in this facet of New Zealand and at number 3, will look to craft the framework of yet another graceful innings for his side. However, Jason Holder has demised him three times in five innings and in a dwindling bowling line-up, he might just be their best bet. West Indies are in massive need of coming up with something on the bowling front and if Holder can perturb Williamson early on, West Indies might just send a huge wicket back for cheap.
Chris Gayle Vs Tim Southee
With 939 runs at an exquisite strike rate in 29 matches against New Zealand, Chris Gayle has always liked playing against the country. He’s seldom caused problems by the bowlers from the country and there’s no one from the current crop who has been able to pepper him down and restrict his clean hitting nature.
The Tim Southee vs Chris Gayle battle makes for a stunning watch not only to determine the outcome of the match but also due to the tighthold Gayle has had over Southee previously. The pacer has been able to dismiss him just twice in 12 encounters and what is a bigger cause of concern is how Southee has tapered off in recent times especially in the death overs. If Gayle gets going, he can bat out till the end and will be enticed at the proposition of playing Southee in the closing stages.
ICC ODI Cricket World Cup Warm-Up Match 9: New Zealand Vs West Indies
Date And Time: 28th May, Tuesday - 3:00pm IST
Venue: Count Ground, Bristol
Television: Star Sports 2/HD
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