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Hosts New Zealand will take on the West Indies in the first Test at the Seddon Park in Hamilton starting Thursday morning.

After New Zealand won the T20I series 2-0 against the West Indies, the action now shifts to the Test arena, which is known as the purest form of cricket. New Zealand have been in superb form at home over the past 4-5 years and have lost only one match since 2016. 

They have an abundance of experience with the likes of skipper K Williamson, R Taylor, T Latham, and H Nicholls in their batting line-up. They will miss the services of BJ Watling in this match as he has been ruled out because of a hamstring injury. W Young will make his debut at the top of the order. There will be a good mix of youth and experience in their bowling attack, with T Southee, T Boult, and N Wagner to join forces with young K Jamieson.

After winning the first Test against England earlier in the summer, the West Indies went off the boil and lost the next two matches. The fast bowling and runs from the middle order were the biggest positives they can build on. 

The top order will be boosted by the return of D Bravo at number 3, with K Brathwaite and J Campbell expected to open the batting. S Heymyer, J Blackwood, and R Chase will form the core of the middle order batting with skipper J holder coming at number 6. Pace duo of S Gabriel and K Roach can trouble the batsmen with their raw pace and swing in helpful conditions. Alzarri Joseph will fit in as the third seamer.

With everything to play for, a cracking game of Test cricket is expected here, as both sides will look to draw first blood in the two-match series.

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Match Details

  • Match: New Zealand vs. West Indies, 1st Test
  • Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
  • Date & Time: Dec. 3, 2020, at 3.30 AM IST

Probable Playing XI

New Zealand

W Young, T Latham, K Williamson (C), R Taylor, H Nicholls, T Blundell (WK), M Santner, T Southee, T Boult, K Jamieson, N Wagner

West Indies

K Brathwaite, J Campbell, D Bravo, S Hetmyer, R Chase, J Blackwood, J Holder (C), S Dowrich (WK), K Roach, S Gabriel, A Joseph

Weather and Pitch Report

The first day is expected to be bright and sunny, with overcast conditions on day two, three, and four. However, it will mostly be clear for most of the duration of the match.

The pitch at Seddon Park usually favors fast bowlers, and there is likely to be good pace and bounce. The batsmen are in for a stern test on what could be a lush green wicket. Pacers have taken 47 wickets in the last two matches here while spinners have taken just 4. 

The pitch will have the most movement in the opening two days, before settling down. The batsmen will need to bide their time and make the most of the surface later on. The second and third innings have been the high-scoring ones at this venue traditionally. 

Both teams will look to bowl first after winning the toss and make good use of the bowling conditions first up.

Key Players

  • K Williamson is one of the class batsmen of this era and has been in superb form with the bat recently even in tough conditions. Expect him to make a valuable contribution in this match.
  • W Young averages 43.76 in his first-class career with ten centuries, the most recent of which came for New Zealand A against the West Indies last week.  
  • K Jamieson is one of the upcoming stars for the Black Caps. He took 9 wickets and made a couple of 40s in his debut series against India. He was superb with the ball in the second T20I match recently against the visitors.
  • J Blackwood scored 211 runs in the three Tests against England. He scored a match-winning 95 in a tense victory in the first test. Expect him to play well in these conditions.
  • J Holder is the no. 1 all-rounder in Test cricket. He picked up 10 wickets in the three Tests against England and played a few useful cameos coming down the order. Expect him to lead the side with his best performance.
  • S Gabriel took 11 wickets in the three Tests, with a match-winning 9-wicket haul in the first match. After a good rest since his last Test match, expect him to bowl at his best and repeat the heroics here.   

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: T Blundell
  • Batsmen: K Williamson, W Young, H Nicholls, J Blackwood
  • All-rounders: J Holder, R Chase
  • Bowlers: T Southee, T Boult, K Jamieson, K Roach
  • Captain: K Jamieson/K Williamson
  • Vice Captain: J Holder/R Chase
Howzat Dream Team New Zealand vs West Indies

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play real cricket online matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

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