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De Grandhomme shows his class

Colin de Grandhomme hitting a six on day one of the second test against the West Indies. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES


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The Black Caps have swatted the West Indies aside to claim a clean sweep of the two-test series, and now have a three-month wait until they pull on the whites again against England.

There are a few who will be guaranteed a spot in the XI that takes the field for the start of that series in March, and others who will have a nervous wait.

With that in mind, here’s a look at how the individual players have performed over the last two tests.

Tom Latham 5.5/10

Latham would be disappointed with his efforts across the two matches. Scores of 37, 22 and 22 show he is more than capable of seeing off the new ball, but Latham would have expected to push on in at least one of those innings against a mediocre bowling attack.

Jeet Raval 7/10

An inability to reach the magical 100 mark continues to haunt Raval, who looks comfortable at test level without converting his opportunities into match-winning scores. He threatened to take that next step with 84 in the first innings of the second test, but was undone by one of the best balls of the series from Shannon Gabriel.

Kane Williamson 7/10

Williamson’s effective captaincy pushes his score up a touch, but he missed a couple of golden opportunities with the bat to go past Martin Crowe and become New Zealand’s leading test century-maker. His declaration near the end of day three of the second test was a positive sign he is willing to take the more aggressive approach when given the opportunity.

Ross Taylor 8.5/10

A brilliant series for Wairarapa College old boy Taylor, who joined Crowe and Williamson on 17 test centuries with his 107-run masterclass in Hamilton. Scored an equally impressive 93 in the first test in Wellington, and once again proved his importance to the New Zealand middle order.

Henry Nicholls 5/10

Got off to a positive start with 67 in the first test, but things quickly went downhill for Nicholls in Hamilton. Scores of 13 and 5 may be forgotten because of how dominant New Zealand have been in these test matches, but Nicholls’ spot could be under threat if somebody performs well enough at domestic level.

Mitchell Santner 4/10

Bowled economically without ever really threatening in the second innings in Wellington, and was hardly sighted with the ball in Hamilton. Spinners often dominate the back end of test matches, but it is hard to imagine Santner ever having that sort of impact. Needs to contribute more with the bat if he is going to stay at No 6.

Colin de Grandhomme 9/10

An outstanding series from de Grandhomme in which he showed his ability to contribute with both bat and ball. A brutally aggressive maiden test century in Wellington (105 off 74 balls) proved how destructive he can be, and he backed it up with 58 off 63 balls in Hamilton. Snared a few key wickets with the ball to complete a successful series.

Tom Blundell 8/10

Couldn’t have asked for a better debut in Wellington, scoring an unbeaten 107 on his home ground in front of his family and friends. Efficient and accurate behind the stumps, and has given the selectors plenty to think about with regular test wicketkeeper BJ Watling likely to be available for the series against England.

Neil Wagner 8.5/10

Set the tone for the series with a remarkable seven wickets in the first innings at Wellington, and hasn’t let up since. The Black Caps quickly identified the West Indies frailties against short-pitched bowling, and Wagner revelled in the opportunity to bombard the batsmen at every opportunity.

Matt Henry 6/10

Henry was always going to be the unlucky omission when Tim Southee returned for the second test. Took three wickets in the second innings at Wellington but was never going to usurp Boult, Southee or Wagner for the second test.

Trent Boult 7.5/10

Has taken at least two wickets in every innings in the series, and has found an extra yard of pace. Relies heavily on swing bowling, and the West Indies inability to deal with the lateral movement allowed Boult to thrive. A couple of entertaining innings with the bat as well, and a guaranteed spot in the XI when fit.

Tim Southee 7/10

Missed the first test in Wellington, but slotted straight back into his usual role in Hamilton. Continued his effective opening bowling partnership with Boult, but seems to struggle when the ball no longer swings.

Special mention – Sunil Ambris

The West Indies batsman made his debut in the first test, and made one of the most bizarre starts to a test career in cricket history. Ambris was out hit wicket to the first ball he faced in test cricket, after stepping back to a short ball from Wagner and stepping on his stumps. Just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, Ambris was dismissed in exactly the same fashion in the second test, this time to Boult. He then capped off a miserable series by having to retire hurt in the second innings.








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