New Zealand v West Indies: Third ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

New Zealand and the West Indies lock horns at the Hagley Oval in the third ODI of this series.

The Black Caps have a good chance to seal only their second ever bilateral ODI series against the West Indies - and prepare for Pakistan's visit early next year.

The men in maroon, meanwhile, really have to find a way to score more runs against Trent Boult and company, particularly if Chris Gayle is absent due to illness again.

New Zealand v West Indies | Tuesday, 26 December | Hagley Oval, Christchurch | 0:00

To Win Match
New Zealand 2/7 | Tie 35/1 | West Indies 26/10

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New Zealand
Boult was entirely impressive en route to a record-breaking seven-wicket haul in the second ODI and, at the same venue in similar conditions, will want to generate the same swing and seam in the third.

Tuesday will bring a final opportunity for the players not included in the squad for three T20Is against the same opposition to impress. Todd Astle, in particular, will want prove he should have been selected ahead of Ish Sodhi.

George Worker, too, will attempt to gather a third successive half-century - and show the selectors that he should be ahead of Colin Munro in the pecking order, especially when Martin Guptill is not around.

It's another chance to test their bench strength in the absence of Tim Southee and Kane Williamson as well. Neil Broom and Matt Henry need to show they're worthy replacements.

One hopes wet weather won't interfere, as a 60 percent chance of showers is predicted for Christchurch. The Hagley Oval pitch, regardless, is expected to be good for batting throughout - and fielding second if triumphant at the toss seems the right choice.

West Indies
A severe lack of runs is among captain Jason Holder's chief concerns. If Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Jason Mohammed are not going to come to the party, then Kyle Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Holder himself must.

Victory in the third ODI and the avoidance of a series whitewash will afford the West Indies the confidence required for the T20Is - a format they're far more comfortable with.

They're going to have to find a way to successfully combat Boult. Batting out of the crease in an attempt to allow the ball less time to swing is a handy option, but then they must be prepared for the extra pace and less time to react.

If there's one bowler to target, it's Astle. The leg-spinner was hardly required in Saturday's match, but when he did bowl, he proved relatively expensive.

The visitors were entirely troubled by the short balls served by Lockie Ferguson. This, most definitely, must be an area they're working on in the brief turnaround time between games two and three.

Verdict: New Zealand 2/7
The Black Caps have enjoyed a relatively successful year in limited-overs cricket - and should wrap up a three-nil drubbing against opposition who are probably already thinking about the T20Is.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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