Black Caps unchanged for third test in Hamilton
New Zealand will field an unchanged 11 as they chase a test series win over West Indies in Hamilton, after allrounder Corey Anderson emerged unscathed from final training.
Captain Brendon McCullum confirmed the same lineup as that which beat West Indies by an innings and 73 runs in Wellington to take a 1-0 series lead into the third and final test, starting at Seddon Park tomorrow.
Anderson was struggling with a shin problem after Wellington, which saw fellow allrounder Jimmy Neesham summoned to Hamilton as cover.
"We're going to play the same team and I've told Neesh he's unfortunately missed out so it will give the guys the opportunity to build on what we've done that last two test matches," McCullum said.
"If the pitch does have anything in it, in terms of seam both Tim [Southee] and Trent [Boult] are more than capable and it does dry out a bit then Neil [Wagner] and Ish [Sodhi] are both good options for us later on."
Backup seamer Doug Bracewell was absent from training, having suffered what was described as a minor adductor strain. He returned home and was ruled out of Central Districts' Plunket Shield match against Otago at Dunedin.
Both teams trained under heavily overcast skies at Seddon Park, with the pitch looking drier than those presented in Dunedin and Wellington. McCullum still felt there was enough to interest the quicker bowlers but he said it was a "dollar each way" whether to bat or bowl first if he won the toss.
"Who knows how it will play but I'm expecting it to be a good test wicket. The important thing in Hamilton is the overhead conditions and the mugginess which is around, if there is some cloud cover then the ball can swing quite a lot. We've seen in previous test matches here that a lot of wickets can fall in one session. We've got be mindful of that with bat and ball."
The only subject concerning West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, meanwhile, was the suspension handed to spinner Shane Shillingford who was rubbed out of international cricket after independent testing failed to clear him of an illegal bowling action.
He will likely return home, with fellow spinner Sunil Narine to take his place tomorrow.
Sammy was clearly miffed but bit his lip.
"I would have loved to say a lot of things but I've always been a diplomatic guy so won't take part in that. We all have our personal opinions. Some have voiced it and we'll just put all our energy into this test. We are behind the eight ball and got to stick together and play our best cricket on tour to beat this New Zealand side at home," Sammy said.
New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.