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Posts Tagged ‘aaron redmond’

New Zealand and the West Indies go into their two-Test series both looking for a boost, but with radically different recent histories.

For the Black Caps, a struggle to overcome Bangladesh was followed by failure against a vulnerable Australia, and the selectors’ dissatisfaction with the latter is evident from the changes that have been made to the Test side for this series. Out have gone Aaron Redmond, Chris Martin, Grant Elliott, Tim Southee, Peter Fulton; in have come Jacob Oram, James Franklin, Mark Gillespie, Tim McIntosh and Jeetan Patel.

The West Indies, or at least some of them, come in to the series radically richer than they were a few weeks ago following the Stanford Super Series. What effect this will have on the team dynamic, and on the relative importance afforded to Test cricket as opposed to Twenty20, remains to be seen.

The fact that the home side have recently slipped behind the tourists in the ICC Test rankings has not been lost on either side, and this factor promises to increase the pressure on both sides. Recent history between these sides suggests that New Zealand are favourites, but the Windies will fancy their chances, and this should be a close (and, I hope, entertaining) series.

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New Zealand’s selectors, following the 2-0 series defeat to Australia, have made wholesale changes to their Test side for the home series against the West Indies.

Out go (amongst others) Chris Martin, , Aaron Redmond and ‘two-metre’ Peter Fulton; in come Tim McIntosh, Jeetan Patel, James Franklin and Jacob Oram.

The Black Caps badly need some sucess against the Windies, with the tourists having recently overtaken their hosts in the ICC Test rankings. With John Bracewell‘s replacement by Andy Moles as coach, there’s an opportunity for Vettori‘s men to make the sort of progress in Test cricket that has so far eluded them.

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Aaron Redmond thinks New Zealand can make it near 500 against Australia in the Second Test. I think that may be a little optimistic, but 262-6 with McCullum and Vettori both still there isn’t a bad platform (although not as good as it might have been – the Black Caps were 101-1 at lunch).

Redmond himself is the top scorer so far with 83, but it seems likely that at least one of Australia’s batting lineup will surpass that on such a notorious batsman-friendly pitch as Adelaide. Matthew Hayden, playing in his 100th Test, must be desperate to get out there and bat, especially given his recent form.

UPDATE: New Zealand actually managed something almost as unlikely as 500 – they collapsed from 262-6 overnight to 270 all out.

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Even though it’s barely five minutes since the last Test series between these two sides, the next one gets underway on Thursday. The short interval means that the sides facing each other at Lord’s will be very familiar. The players who excelled in New Zealand, such as Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Southee, will be expected to continue in a similar vein.

There will be a few noticeable changes, though, not least the absence of Stephen Fleming. The Black Caps’ batting line-up will have to adjust for the first series since their former captain’s retirement, but good recent performances from the likes of Aaron Redmond mean that runs are still likely to be scored (although New Zealand often rival England in the art of the collapse).

Another source of runs for the Black Caps, and one of many New Zealand players who spent the short period since the last series over in India is Brendon McCullum, although he will probably need to calm things down a little to make big Test scores, after proving himself in the hurried pace of the IPL.

From England’s perspective, there are a lot of players hoping to regain form (not least the captain, who might do well to stop practising his textbook forward defensive shot and start scoring runs), or to prove something to the selectors (or to themselves). Nevertheless, home advantage makes England clear favourites.

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