West Indies eye series win against New Zealand
Kingston (Jamaica): Following a series of up-and-down performances in recent months, West Indies captain Darren Sammy called for consistency ahead of the five-match One-day International (ODI) series against New Zealand.
"We`re just looking for consistency," Sammy told reporters ahead of Thursday`s first ODI against New Zealand at Sabina Park.
"For the past few series we`ve had at home we haven`t started well. We`ve always played catch up.
"Right here in Jamaica we`re just looking to start off well, make sure we cover all three disciplines - batting, bowling and fielding - and look to put out a professional performance out there."
The West Indies have become known as notoriously slow starters, often having to battle back from deficits in order to compete.
Against Australia earlier this year, the West Indies lost the opening ODI before fighting back to take a 2-1 lead in the series, which eventually finished in a 2-2 stalemate after the third match was tied.
In the five-match series against India late last year, the Windies lost the first two matches before winning the third but eventually lost the series 1-4.
The scenario was repeated when Pakistan and India toured the Caribbean last summer as the hosts lost the first three matches of both five-match series before finishing strongly with victories.
However, the Windies will be seeking to use the momentum from winning last weekend`s Twenty20 doubleheader in Florida, to draw first blood against the Black Caps.
Sammy said his side would be focussed on building on that performance.
The West Indies enter the series looking to overhaul New Zealand who are one point above them in seventh in the international one-day rankings.
However, they will need to reverse their record against the Kiwis as they have not won a bi-lateral series against them in 10 years.
For the second straight series, the Windies have been labelled as favourites to win but talismanic opener Chris Gayle cautioned the Caribbean side against complacency.
"Obviously they are missing a few key players like Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori but they are in a rebuilding process. Ross Taylor got injured and a few of the other guys are injured so it`s a bit of a setback for them," Gayle told reporters.
"They have to rebound and they will come at us hard and we`re not here to take them for granted. Whichever way you may look at it and say we`re the stronger team, we still have to go out there and play good cricket," he added.
Kane Williamson will lead the Black Caps in place of the injured Taylor.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Tino Best, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Tom Latham, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Andrew Ellis, Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Tarun Nethula.