Preview: T20 World Cup: West Indies vs. New Zealand: Team News, Series Progress, and Projection

In the T20 World Cup on Wednesday night, West Indies takes on New Zealand with the knowledge that they have the ability to push the Kiwis to the verge of elimination.

If they can win at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago, the tournament hosts will have a commanding advantage over their opponents in Group C.

Overview of the Match

Despite being placed in a more advantageous group than some of the other teams, it was acknowledged that West Indies might require certain circumstances to change in order for them to go to the last eight.

That slice of good fortune has already materialised with Afghanistan thrashing New Zealand, the Black Caps’ net-run-rate taking a battering in the process.

West Indies are in a position where they can ensure that they finish above New Zealand in the table, but the latter team still has three games remaining. A victory in each of those games would keep New Zealand looking for qualification.

Owing to their matches against Uganda and Papua New Guinea, Daren Sammy’s team was handed the best start conceivable, and they have made the most of it, especially recently.

The minnows were removed for just 39 runs after the West Indies amassed 173-5 from their 20 overs, giving them a higher net run-rate of 7.774 than New Zealand at the present.

It is still assumed that New Zealand will provide four points, as they did against the West Indies, in their doubleheader match against the rank outsiders.

But if they lose today, Gary Stead’s team would only have a slim chance of qualifying for the next two games. Only an upset by Papua New Guinea against Afghanistan would alter that situation.

Collective News

Barring any injury issues, there is no reason why West Indies should line up any differently to how they did against Uganda.

The opener, Brandon King, has credit in the bank for his 34 against Papua New Guinea, despite making just 13 off eight deliveries. The other five batters in the top six all made at least 22 runs.

Even though Akeal Hosein was the most effective bowler with astounding 5-11 statistics, all five bowlers recorded one wicket each.

After some time to digest their crushing loss to Afghanistan, New Zealanders are debating whether to respond with stability or changes.

The most likely change would be to reinstate Rachin Ravindra in place of Michael Bracewell, who finished with figures of 0-27 off three overs and a first-ball duck.

West Indian Team: Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder, Jason Powell, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, and Rovman Powell (c).

New Zealand Team: Tim Southee, Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, and Kane Williamson (captain).