New Zealand vs West Indies 3rd T20I Preview: Aggressive Kiwis aim for whitewash against dispirited Windies
As skipper Kieron Pollard said after the post-match presentation in the second T20I, when West Indies go bad, they can go really bad.
New Zealand - bold and better
The aggression that New Zealand have shown in both the first two matches of the T20I series seems to have caught West Indies off guard.
Batting first, the home side was right on the money at the Bay Oval with a 49-run partnership between openers Martin Guptill and Tim Seifert. Although both of them departed in quick succession, the platform they set came in handy for those to follow.
Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips looked like they belong at the international level in the first match itself. They put on a great display of explosive batting and were also helped to a great degree by some wayward bowling from the inexperienced West Indies bowling attack.
While Conway remained unbeaten on 65 off 37 deliveries with 4 fours and 4 sixes, going at a strike rate of 175, it was Glenn Phillips who literally pushed West Indies out of the match between overs 10 and 15.
The batsman who is coming on the back of a brilliant Caribbean Premier League campaign struck the fastest century in T20 cricket by a New Zealand batsman as he reached the milestone off just 46 balls. The previous record was held by Colin Munro who did it off 47 balls. Phillips was finally dismissed on 108 off 51 deliveries with 10 fours and 8 sixes, going at a strike rate of over 210. He had done all the damage when he was dismissed on the penultimate delivery of the innings.
The future of Kiwi batting
With Kane Williamson rested, it seems like New Zealand have got the batsmen who will be in for the long haul. It would be brilliant for the Kiwi setup to see youngsters putting their hands up.
Glenn Phillips is just 23 and looks set to be the future of New Zealand cricket. Devon Conway is not that young anymore and is 29 but still new to international cricket. He made his List A debut way back in 2009 and it is after a decade of putting in the hard yards that he is finally shining.
The all-out approach of New Zealand was heartening to see. Coming on the back of a 0-5 series defeat against India, it looks like they have had long discussions about how they want to approach the format leading up to the T20 World Cup. They have showed their faith in the right personnel, be it Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips with the bat or Kyle Jamieson with the ball and are heading in the right direction.
West Indies still on the plane
Chasing 239, West Indies were all over the place and never in the contest. They still seem on the plane as they haven't been able to make a mark in the first two matches of the series. Like the first match, Andre Fletcher looked good for the time he lasted but that was only 14 deliveries.
Brandon King had another failure as he was bowled by Kyle Jamieson. West Indies' biggest hope in the middle order Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran too, could not fire and you cannot expect captain Kieron Pollard to do it for you every time.
Changes galore for last T20I
Several changes are expected for the last T20I of the series. New Zealand's stand-in captain Tim Southee was always going to rest in this game and the captaincy will be taken over by Mitchell Santner.
Kyle Jamieson and Ross Taylor, who are part of the test squad, have also been rested. Mark Chapman, Doug Bracewell and Scott Kuggeleijn will come into the T20 squad in the place of the rested players.
For West Indies, Kesrick Williams is expected to be back. He does have the assortment of variations to be successful in T20 cricket.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (wk), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Doug Bracewell, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner (c), Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett, Lockie Ferguson
West Indies - Andre Fletcher, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kyle Mayers, Kieron Pollard (c), Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell
© Cricket World 2020