kiwis out to target windies opener
in 3rd odi
Tomorrow New Zealand will unveil Operation Get Chris Gayle Early in St Kitts in their effort to get back into their five-match One-Day International series which West Indies lead 2 – 0.
According to the Kiwis’ bowling all-rounder Nathan McCullum, the team’s management has determined that there is one simple way they can get back into the series against the West Indies and that is to dismiss the powerful Jamaican cheaply.
In the four innings in which he has batted against them on tour so far, Gayle has scored 85 not out and 53 in the two Twenty20 Internationals, and 63 not out and 125 in the One-Day Internationals.
“At the end of the day we’ve just got to get him out. We’ve got some plans in place that we’re pretty sure are going to work,” McCullum told reporters in St Kitts. “Let’s hope they do, but we’re determined to take his wicket and get them under pressure at the top of the order.
“We’ve just got to win. We’ve got to be determined to win and find any way possible. We’ve got to take more wickets, burn through their top order and see what their bottom order has got under pressure, and if we bat first we’ve got to score hundreds and put big partnerships and big runs on the board.”
Gayle has the chance tomorrow to score his fifth consecutive fifty-plus score for West Indies across all formats, something he has never before achieved, and if he manages it West Indies will be well on the way to taking an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the one-day internationals.
Gayle has had support at various stages from Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, who scored his third ODI century in Jamaica over the weekend, but his protracted presence at the crease in each match has proven New Zealand’s primary dilemma.
But they could be strengthened by the inclusion of the attacking Brendon McCullum, originally left out of the ODI squad, but who was expected to land in St Kitts today as early cover for the injury-hit team.
New Zealand coach John Wright said it remained to be seen whether McCullum would be considered.
“We’ll see how he feels. It’s a long journey, but that may be a little bit tight,” he said.†
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said today his focus was simply to secure the series win as soon as possible, which would end a four-year drought in which West Indies have not won an ODI series against anyone other than Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the ICC associates.
“Since we started off the series in Florida, we’ve been playing some really good cricket. It’s good to see that we’ve been consistently good in whatever we’ve been doing. We’re just looking to continue again. Wednesday will be a chance to clinch the series, so we’re looking to do that,” he said
West Indies main concern has been the dismal form of opener Lendl Simmons who has provided New Zealand with an early wicket in every match on the tour so far. Though Johnson Charles is in the squad, his lack of prolific scoring so far in international matches could mean Simmons retaining his place at the top of the order. Team management might also be reluctant to change a winning unit.
Play starts at 9.30 a.m.
West Indies: (likely) 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Dwayne Smith, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Sunil Narine New Zealand: (possible) 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Daniel Flynn/Brendon McCullum, 4 Kane Williamson (capt), 5 Dean Brownlie/Tom Latham, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Tim Southee, 9 & 10 Nathan McCullum/Tarun Nethula/Trent Boult, 11 Kyle Mills†††