BlackCaps test drive dual spin option
Sat, 21 Jul 2012 1:46a.m.
An intrigued Black Caps vice captain Brendon McCullum is looking forward to seeing how New Zealand can exploit a change in pace as they warm up with a three-day match in Antigua ahead of the upcoming two-Test series against the West Indies.
The match, against a West Indies President's 11, gives the Black Caps a chance to re-set after being outplayed 4-1 in the recent one-day series.
It will be played at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, on the same wicket block as the first Test three days later.
"It's not often we get to do that - it's going to be a real benefit," McCullum says.
"Being a first-class game, there's going to be some pressure on and there's probably a couple of places up for grabs as well."
Two spinners have been named in the starting 11, the vastly experienced Daniel Vettori and rookie legspinner Tarun Nethula.
McCullum says he expects the pair to exploit a change in pace from the one-day wickets in St Kitts and Kingston.
"The wicket's definitely a lot slower here in Antigua, and it seems to spin a lot," McCullum says.
"The practice wickets have spun a considerable amount, and they've also bounced as well, so there's plenty of dangers for spin."
McCullum says he's also looking forward to seeing what South Africa-born pace bowler Neil Wagner has to offer in the three-day match as he pushes for a Test debut.
"His left-arm seam bowling is obviously a nice variety, and his ability to reverse swing the ball is very effective too," McCullum says.
"The selectors will be deciding on the balance of the team, and the areas we'll try to expose the West Indies. It may be that left-arm option is one of those."
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