This weekend the BLACKCAPS take on the West Indies in two Twenty20 matches at Windsor Park in Roseau, Dominica - and we're sure to see something new.
No Twenty20 specialists have been called up for the series, which means Test players will be tried in some different short-form situations. "We looked at this a number of months ago and thought this is a real opportunity to try a couple of things - with Cricket World Cup 2015 in mind and with trying to get the balance of the squad right we need to see that people can do different roles in case we get injuries, so a perfect opportunity for that," said head coach Mike Hesson.
Jimmy Neesham, who scored 278 runs at 46.33 in the three Test series will open in the two matches. "He's a power player - he's a guy that can hit the ball from ball one and can play seam and spin equally well. He's got the attributes, so we'll give him a good opportunity,"said Hesson.
The BLACKCAPS beat the West Indies 2-0 in the two-match Twenty20 series
earlier this year in New Zealand, with wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi having a stand-out series with scores of 48* from 25 balls at Eden Park and 51* from 25 balls at Westpac Stadium, and will be keen to get in the middle after backing up BJ Watling throughout the Test series.
Corey Anderson, who missed the first Test due to injury and has been unable to squeeze past Jimmy Neesham into the all-rounder's spot will be keen for a run, and we could see Ish Sodhi make his Twenty20i debut, after working hard on his short form game for the Northern Knights in the HRV Twenty20.
The West Indies have mystery spinner Sunil Narine back in their line-up, along with highly-rated bowler Samuel Badree and explosive all-rounder Kieron Pollard, who returns from injury. They lose the big man Chris Gayle, who is being rested.
"They've got a lot of match winners. Throughout their line-up they've got guys that can win a game by themselves - that's the sign of a good T20 side, that's why they won the World T20 a couple of years ago and were one of the favourites at the last one as well," said Mike Hesson.
The two games start at 6am on Sunday and Monday mornings NZ times, making for some civilised-hour breakfast viewing. Both games will be live on Sky Sport
and Radio Sport
, with live scoring here at blackcaps.co.nz
and updates on Twitter with @BLACKCAPS
BLACKCAPS squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (c), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith