Bravo rates Anderson as next million-dollar man
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo believes world record holder Corey Anderson could potentially be cricket's next million-dollar man.
But he also knows lightning doesn't strike twice, and is daring Anderson and his big-hitting New Zealand team-mates to try to replicate their onslaught at Nelson's Saxton Oval in today's fourth one-day international.
Anderson pipped Pakistan's Shahid Afridi to the title of world's fastest international centurion with a 36-ball ton in Queenstown, which gave New Zealand the momentum of a freight train in the series at 1-1 with two to play.
Bravo was so impressed he wants to be Anderson's team-mate in the Indian Premier League with Chennai Super Kings, coached by Stephen Fleming. He also felt the sky could be the limit for Anderson's asking price at next month's player auction.
"You saw it with [Australian allrounder] Glenn Maxwell; he played an innings against us in a 50-over game, a breezy 50-odd in no time and next auction he was bought by Mumbai for US$1 million. Hopefully he [Anderson] is lucky as well, hopefully the right people are watching."
Still, that's a few weeks off yet and as Anderson noted yesterday, one innings does not make a summer.
The challenge for him, fellow centurion Jesse Ryder and the plethora of boundary-clearers in the home side is to back up in a full ODI contest on the Saxton Oval rope which is 68m on each side and about a 76m straight hit.
"In the first game [in Auckland] we bowled one side of the wicket and we were successful, so we're going to go back to that. He [Anderson] played a blinder of an innings and he had freedom in a shortened game [21 overs]. I don't think he would play an innings like that if it was a 50-over game," Bravo said.
"Let's see if our bowlers have the courage and guts to bounce back, which I believe they do. I'm not saying it can't happen again but it's going to be a lot tougher to repeat."
The West Indies have a handy ODI attack of Ravi Rampaul, Jason Holder, Bravo and spinner Sunil Narine, but they all looked helpless amid the Queenstown carnage.
Psychologically it must have an impact, particularly as Bravo noted the team were now without six of their top 11 on an incident-packed tour.
Allrounder Darren Sammy, their Auckland matchwinner, was the latest casualty after tearing a hamstring at warmups in Queenstown.
He had an MRI scan yesterday but Bravo said his tour was almost certainly over, joining fellow injured frontliners Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and Kemar Roach, while batsman Darren Bravo left the tour for personal reasons.
Gayle (hamstring) was also confirmed yesterday as a non-starter for the tour-ending Twenty20 internationals.
New Zealand could be even stronger before a sellout 5300 crowd for Nelson's first ODI.
Pace spearhead Tim Southee is available after undergoing minor surgery on his big toe, but will test his fitness with a bowl this morning.
A huge downpour yesterday and a dire forecast for today was sweetened by local weather watchers predicting rain would hold off till 8pm or 9pm tonight, raising hopes of a full game.
The pitch looked hard with a cushion of dead grass, but after time under cover it looks another certain bowl-first option.
The outfield copped plenty of rain but looked in good order and it drains well.
Southee said the team was still abuzz after the 159-run win in Queenstown where captain Brendon McCullum began blazing away, then Anderson (131 not out off 47 balls) and Ryder (104 off 51) saw New Zealand pepper the crowd with 22 sixes.
"If you look at our batting lineup, there's power right through and when it comes off you can see how dangerous we can be. It was probably the best I've ever seen live. I was sitting next to Kane Williamson and we were pinching ourselves. We almost stopped clapping fours because we felt we were clapping the whole time."
HOW THEY LINE UP
What: New Zealand v West Indies, fourth one-day international
Where: Saxton Oval, Nelson
When: 11am today, live on Sky Sport 1
TAB odds: NZ $1.35, WI $3
New Zealand (from): Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, James Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro.
West Indies (from): Johnson Charles, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Lendl Simmons, Narsingh Deonarine, Dwayne Bravo (captain), Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul, Nikita Miller, Chadwick Walton, Tino Best.
Umpires: Ian Gould (England), Billy Bowden (NZ). Third umpire: Ranmore Martinesz (Sri Lanka).
The Dominion Post