Cricket: NZ team gains experience for tests

By Daniel Richardson

Chris Martin will add some valuable experience when the test series gets underway against the West Indies next week. Photo / Getty Images.
Chris Martin will add some valuable experience when the test series gets underway against the West Indies next week. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand's line-up will gain some valuable experience when the test series gets underway against the West Indies next week.

After fielding a team that may not necessarily be young but was light on international tours during the one-day and Twenty20 fixtures, the side who will don the whites will have a slightly different look.

Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori who has played 110 tests, paceman Chris Martin who has pulled on the black cap 68 times, and veteran first-class wicketkeeper-batsman Kruger van Wyk are all likely starters next Thursday (NZT) in Antigua.

Neil Wagner could also make his long-awaited debut.

New Zealand were swept 2-0 in the Twenty20 series and suffered a 4-1 loss in the 50-over contests and looked thin on the ground when Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum missed games through injury and rest respectively.

Vettori's absence from international limited overs cricket continues to plague the side who would've dearly loved his calm demeanour with bat and ball, particularly during the fourth and fifth one-day games where they had a decent chance to win but struggled with their run chase.

"We are a young team, but we are young in terms of games not in terms of years, I think," Taylor said of the one-day unit.

"We have got a couple of youngsters but that did not contribute to our loss in any way. But when you lose and lose like we have, 4-1, there's no use losing 4-1 and not learning from it. We need to learn from it and be a better team and then next time we come up against the West indies or another international side in one-day cricket we need to learn from this."

Taylor welcomed the experience Vettori and Martin would bring the test team.

"We've got three or four new guys that have come in that will bring a new energy to the team," Taylor said of the test squad.

"We've got a warm-up game as well, which I'm sure will be a big help on what will be the playing wicket for the test match."

Taylor also backed seamer Tim Southee to perform in the longer form of the game if he was selected, given his impressive efforts in the limited overs matches.

"He's refreshed himself and he's worked on a few things and he's in the test side so he'll be pushing for selection. He's played in every much, so far so he has been the pick of our bowlers and hopefully he can continue on from what he has shown so far and keep leading the attack."

The three-day warm-up game gets underway on Saturday morning (NZT) and will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, the same venue of the first test.

The second test is scheduled to be played in Jamaica the following week.

- APNZ

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