NZ v WI 2020: New Zealand’s ideal XI for the second Test in Wellington

New Zealand has made a triumphant return to Test cricket by comprehensively winning the first Test against the West Indies by an innings and 134 runs. This victory was the largest Test win for the hosts against the West Indies in terms of runs. 

New Zealand last played a Test series in March against the Indian team at home and went on to win that series convincingly 2-0 before the pandemic brought the world to a standstill.

The break doesn’t seem to have affected the Kiwis’ Test side all that much. New Zealand’s pace quartet was relentless and never let the West Indies batsmen settle down in both the innings of the first match.

Southee was the wreaker-in-chief during the first innings as he picked up a four-wicket haul to dismantle their opposition’s batting line-up. It was Neil Wagner‘s turn in the second innings. Wagner consistently bowled in tight channels and reaped the benefits as he picked up four wickets in the second innings. 

In the batting department, it was skipper Kane Williamson who posted his highest Test score (251) to take his side to a solid total After that, the bowlers delivered a collective performance to hand the innings to New Zealand. 

Kane Williamson‘s team will now look to continue in the same vein and win the series to improve their standing in the World Test Championship (2019-2021) points table. New Zealand currently occupies the 3rd position in the table as they have picked up 240 points so far. Their opponents West Indies are in 7th place.

The two sides are now preparing for the second Test match at Eden Park in Wellington on Friday. Historically, the home team batsmen have had a great time at this venue when compared to their visiting counterparts.

The Kiwis and the West Indies last played a Test match at Wellington in 2017. In the opening Test match of the series, the West Indies began the batting and got all-out for 134 runs in the first innings. Neil Wagner bowled a fiery spell and ended with figures 7-39. 

In reply, New Zealand posted a substantial first innings total of 520/9 (declared). Collin de Grandhomme (105) and Tom Blundell (107*) starred with centuries for the Kiwis.

With a large deficit in front of them, the West Indies didn’t surrender to the New Zealand pacers and fought bravely in the second innings. However, they failed to avoid an innings defeat as they got all-out for 319, and lost the match by an innings and 67 runs. Wagner ended the game with nine wickets. 

The Kiwis already have a lethal quartet pace attack comprising of Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, and Kyle Jamieson. The New Zealand team management, though, might contemplate putting in spin bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner in the place of Daryl Mitchell

Will Young, who made his Test debut last match, might make way for the returning BJ Watling in the playing XI. That would mean Blundell will return to his opening position, and Watling will assume his regular role in the middle-order along with his wicket-keeping duties. 

Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult

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