The T20 series between the West Indies and New Zealand is now over and the two nations head to Barbados now for three ODI matches, the first of which comes on Wednesday evening and will set the scene for the two to follow.
These matches carry significance in terms of the fact they count towards the table being used to ascertain the qualifiers for the 50 over World Cup in India next year so there is plenty of incentive for the teams to win them.
Having lost out in the T20 matches, West Indies did at least win the final game to provide themselves with some confidence to take into these ODI games. They are big for West Indies because the Caribbean men have had a dry spell when it comes to ODI wins in recent times and they sit sixth in the table heading into the series with the top seven and India avoiding the qualifying tournament. With Australia and South Africa likely to improve their standing in the upcoming months this is a big series for West Indies.
They have played more matches than anyone else too which further adds to the need for West Indies to win this match. West Indies head into this match having lost their last nine ODI matches and that includes all six they have played at home this summer in series against Bangladesh and India. In the majority of those matches their batters failed to come to the party and that is an area they have to improve if they are to qualify for the World Cup.
There are no concerns of a qualifying nature for New Zealand. They still have plenty of matches to play in the Super League series but are already comfortably into the qualification zone so for them it is all about building up a head of steam ahead of the World Cup, which will soon come along given that it takes place in India in just over 12 months from now. They should be full of confidence from having won the T20s last week in pretty dominant fashion.
New Zealand have been beaten in the last two finals in the 50 over World Cup so they should be a force to be reckoned with and that is how they are looking. They have seamers who can get the job done in all conditions and enough batting depth to be able to put up the scores of 320 and above that are needed in the modern day. With a growing depth of spin options as well New Zealand look nicely placed for a big 12 months in the ODI format.
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West Indies were hoping to have Shimron Hetmyer back for this match but he has chosen to withdraw from the squad. Jermaine Blackwood was called up to replace him and is expected to feature. There is no Rovman Powell or Odean Smith for these matches.
New Zealand have the same squad out here for the ODIs that they had for the T20s with the exception of Matt Henry who is out with an injury. Ben Sears replaces him but he isn’t expected to play here.
The Kensington Oval used to be a high scoring ground but you have to go back to 2019 when England were last here for the last time a score of 300 was put up in ODI cricket on this ground. There have been six ODIs in that time. I’m not expecting too much to change here because clearly the pitches are offering something for the bowlers at the minute but also I don’t think much of this West Indies batting unit, particularly if Shai Hope doesn’t get going.
There are one or two New Zealand batters who might be on show in this match who didn’t play in the T20 matches so they might struggle in the different conditions too. We saw in the T20s that the New Zealand bowlers were all over the West Indies batters and that trend should continue, albeit perhaps not quite as stark as in those matches. The run line here is 537.5 and I feel that is a little on the high side with New Zealand not exactly guaranteed to go big should they bat first.
Back Under 537.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway