BLACKCAPS bat first in crucial ODI

Stephen Fleming will set the pace at Jade Stadium and will lead the BLACKCAPS into bat first against the West Indies in the third National Bank Series One-Day International.

Accustomed to chasing down totals in Christchurch, the home side will look to a change of emphasis at the scene of the record Chappell-Hadlee Trophy run chase against Australia in December.

Fleming told columnist Gavin Larsen the bowling attack could face a testing time on the batter-friendly pitch.

However, he assumed responsibility on behalf of the BLACKCAPS’ specialist batsmen, stating: “We’ve chased well on this ground and now it’s our chance to set one.

“It’s a tough day and you need numbers in your bowling attack. It could be a tough day for the bowlers and it’s up to the batters to front up, as usual.

“We’ve just got to maintain our form and try and put pressure on the West Indies and play good cricket. If we bat well we can do that.”

Hamish Marshall replaces Jamie How, while Jeetan Patel is once again the substitute. Michael Mason passed a fitness test on a side strain, meaning standby Kyle Mills misses out.

BLACKCAPS: Lou Vincent, Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Peter Fulton, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin, Shane Bond, Michael Mason, Jeetan Patel (substitute).

West Indies (from): Shivnarine Chanderpaul (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Daren Ganga, Runako Morton, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Ian Bradshaw, Rawl Lewis, Fidel Edwards, Deighton Butler

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