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Ramdin urges WI to fight hard
DUNEDIN—Vice captain and wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin said West Indies need to successfully get through the initial exchanges in the first Test against New Zealand to set the tone for the rest of the series. The first Test opened yesterday at the intimate University Oval in the second largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the principal city of the Otago Region. Shane Shillngford, who was reported for suspect action during the Mumbai Test, was included as the visitors elected to bowl against New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin. Shillingford joined the team on Sunday after undergoing a test on his bowling action in Perth.
The other inclusion in the West Indies side was Shannon Gabriel, who also played in the Mumbai Test, and will form a two-man pace attack along with Tino Best on a pitch with an ample cover of green. Darren Sammy, as a result, had no hesitation in sending New Zealand in to bat. With a thick cloud cover over the ground, the moisture in the pitch is likely to last longer. Aaron Redmond, who last played a Test five years ago, will have the tough task of filling in for the injured Kane Williamson while also ensuring a good start to New Zealand's summer on conditions that are likely to test batsmen in the initial periods. “It looks like a good batting track,” said Ramdin, one of only two players that have ever played a Test in this country. “The first day is going to very important—the first hour. Whoever wins the toss will have to make the most of the opportunity either batting or bowling first.” He added: “It’s not like the Caribbean where you can hit through the line. You have to assess the conditions and bat very long.
“The New Zealanders are going to bowl in [good] areas and try to get wickets early, so we will need to work hard as a batting group.” The Windies are looking to bounce back from a difficult tour of India, where they lost both Tests against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side inside three days. Ramdin said getting over the conditions, including the unfamiliar weather that sees temperatures dip below 20 degrees Celsius will also be important. The visitors trained under sunny skies yesterday, something that Ramdin said the players welcomed. “This is lovely weather,” he said. “It’s back like the Caribbean now. If the weather stays like this, I think we’ll have some more confidence.” He said: “We see this series as a fresh start. What happened in India is in the past. There were more spinner-friendly pitches there, but I believe most of our batsmen like the ball coming onto the bat, so I expect them to express themselves more. “It’s not going to be easy though, the ball is going to be moving around a bit so we have to counteract that.”
NEW ZEALAND: Brendon McCullum (captain), Hamish Rutherford, Peter Fulton, Aaron Redmond, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Bradley-John Watling (wicketkeeper), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
WEST INDIES : Darren Sammy (captain), Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Shane Shillingford, Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel
UMPIRES Nigel Llong (England), Paul Reiffel (Australia)
TV UMPIRE Ian Gould (England)
MATCH REFEREE Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
RESERVE UMPIRE Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand)
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