Matt Henry to start for Blackcaps in opening West Indies Test

Matt Henry to start for Blackcaps in opening West Indies Test

Matt Henry to start for Blackcaps in opening West Indies Test

The West Indies are not dwelling on their August win over England as they enter a two-Test series against New Zealand, but captain Jason Holder will use it for motivation if necessary.

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the first Test between New Zealand and Windies.

Henry's figures aren't flash - 22 wickets at 48 in eight tests, but he's reliable, a workhorse and did well in his last test, taking five South African wickets, albeit eight months ago. That suggests it could initially be tough to bat on, but Kane Williamson is confident it will soon wear away and become a good pitch.

Guys here are eager to play for the West Indies.

New Zealand also named Matt Henry to replace senior fast bowler Tim Southee who is awaiting the birth of his second child. "We´re still not the finished product, but we´re heading in the right direction", Holder said Thursday.

When pressed on who would deputise for Southee, Hesson added: "We've got plenty of time and it's nice to have a couple of very good options".

Batting coach Toby Radford says Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite have recently proved they can play long innings for big scores.

Kane Willamson and the Black Caps kick off their global summer against the West Indies at the Basin Reserve.

The home side will have only one debutant on Friday, as Tom Blundell steps into the wicketkeeper's slot in place of the injured B.J. Watling.

It has been 248 days since the Black Caps last played a test match, and the last time they took the field was to watch the rain fall.

The second test of the series is in Hamilton next week and then the Black Caps have a diet of one dayers and Twenty20 games against the Windies, Pakistan, Australia and England before putting on their whites again at the tail end of summer for two tests against England.

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