Windies kick off tour of New Zealand with T20 International
The West Indies will get a chance in a couple of hours to play international cricket in front of fans for the first time in several months, when they take on New Zealand in the first of three Twenty20 (T20) Internationals in Auckland starting on Friday morning at 1 a.m. Jamaica time.
The Kieron Pollard-led Windies will finally get to rid themselves of the numerous quarantine shackles and take to the field in what is their second bio-secure overseas tour.
With a number of the players who took part in the Indian Premier League recently being released from quarantine, it is still not clear what sort of camaraderie or cohesion the regional side will have; however, they will be gunning to secure their fourth T20 win in a row after their last successful away fixtures against Sri Lanka.
Captain Kieron Pollard says the Windies are as prepared as they would have normally been and it’s just a matter of going out and performing.
“We are prepared as with every other game,” Pollard said. “We have made use of what we have and at the end of the day, when you step out on that cricket field, we have to go out and perform.”
With a number of key T20 players unavailable for varying reasons, coach Phil Simmons may opt to go with Andre Fletcher and Jamaican Brandon King at the top of the order, with Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, and Shimron Hetmyer making up the middle order.
Jamaican all-rounder Fabian Allen could also get a taste of the action with compatriot Sheldon Cottrell, and Oshane Thomas.
The New Zealanders will be banking on the experience of veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who needs just 91 runs to get to 2,000 in T20 Internationals.