A new format, a new captain and a massive point to prove.
Early tomorrow morning the BLACKCAPS will get a chance at redemption after two disappointing Twenty20 performances in Florida.
Having relocated to the Caribbean the New Zealand side face now face an even bigger challenge, as they prepare to take on the West Indies in the ODI and Test series on their own soil.
Despite not getting off to a dream start, there’s still a lot of belief around the camp that they can get the job done.
“We know we’re up against a very strong side and we know we are a young side looking to move forward,” stand in captain Kane Williamson said.
“We‘re certainly looking to improve and hopefully we’ll pick up a win tomorrow. That’s obviously the number one thing we’re focussing on.
“That’s what our planning has been towards and hopefully it all falls into place for us.”
Achieving that goal would be a huge boost for the BLACKCAPS as they attempt to carry on their strong record against West Indies in ODIs.
Having had a little more time to prepare for the series, the team will feel far better prepared for the new format. Let’s be frank – it was a rusty looking outfit in Miami.
But that’s behind them now. Even the first match casualty ward of Jacob Oram, Ronnie Hira and Ross Taylor has to be pushed to the back of the mind.
Make no mistake – this team is determined to prove the critics wrong.
And with the afore-mentioned injury of Taylor the BLACKCAPS will now be looking to Williamson for inspiration – recently made the youngest Captain in New Zealand history.
“It certainly was a surprise, but a nice one at that so it’s been an exciting opportunity,” the 21 year-old said.
“Not a lot’s changed, it’s just an interim thing but the guys have been fantastic and they’re all backing me and I’m obviously all backing them.
“Whilst I’m the captain there’s a lot of leaders in the team, a lot of senior players who have a voice as well so we’re all working together.”
It’s a rapid rise through the ranks for the boy from Tauranaga, but his composure is evident. If he and his support crew manage to deliver victory tomorrow it would be a helpful start to turning the series round.
The BLACKCAPS do have the talent, but as their young new skipper says they are “yet to fire.”
All of New Zealand agrees that tomorrow would be the day to do it.