One day after all rounder Darren Sammy was beating up his chest about the West Indies chances of defeating New Zealand in their World Cup quarter-finals tonight at Wellington, bowling coach Curtly Ambrose took a more realistic view, saying that consistency must come into his team’s play in order to win.
At 9pm (TT time) tonight, West Indies will square up against favourites for the title, host New Zealand at the ‘Cake Tin’ in Wellington. There will be a full house cheering on the Kiwis in temperatures that will be hovering around 19 degrees celsius.
There has also been a prediction of gusty winds later in the evening with the match getting off at 2pm local time, it will surely play a factor.
Hence the bowlers need to be at the top of their game according to Ambrose :”I am a realistic person, I am not one to say that we are bowling good when we are not. We need to be more consistent. We have achieved our first goal and that is to reach the knockout stages, preparation has been going well but it is really cold here at Wellington. We are working hard, this is it, this is not the prelims, once you lose you are out. The bowlers are working very hard and looking to get it right, they need to be consistent in this big game.”
West Indies will be keeping fingers crossed over the availability of opener Chris Gayle, who has been battling a back injury. It has been touch and go with the left handed Jamaican, being good one day and flat out the next. During the last match against the UAE, he was declared fit the day before the match but on the morning of the game, he was unable to play.
Ambrose thinks that Gayle’s attitude will pull him through: “Gayle has not been fully fit for years. We expect him to play, we know what kind of player he is, once he can stand up and bat, he will come through. We need him to give us a good start at the top of the order and although we have to wait until before the match to make sure, I think he will pull through. He missed practice yesterday, after taking a cortisone injection the day before to assist with his pain.”
New Zealand is cautiously optimistic knowing fully well that the West Indies have potential match winners.
Coach Mike Hesson is fully aware of the dangers of under-estimating West Indies. “When you think they’re down, one of their players comes out and plays an explosive innings or bowls a spell that can take out of the game. Sometimes it’s easier to play a side that’s a bit more predictable.”
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Jonathan Carter, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Sulieman Benn and Nikita Miller.
New Zealand: Brendan McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliot, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori and Kane Williamson.