After suffering a 1-4 loss to India in the five-match T20 International series, the West Indies cricket team will host New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica in the early hours of Thursday in India. The match will start at 12:00 AM Indian Standard Time (IST).

Having made their first visit to the Caribbean since 2014, New Zealand have announced a full-strength squad for the series which will help them to prepare for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup; which is scheduled to be held in Australia in October and November. Captain Kane Williamson, Devon Conway and Trent Boult have returned to New Zealand’s 15-man T20I squad after missing the European tour.

On the other hand, Nicholas Pooran-led West Indies will look to bounce back against the Kiwis in the T20I format. However, the hosts will miss the services of several of their first team players including Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell and Fabian Allen.

WI vs NZ Dream11 prediction

West Indies managed to win just one of their five matches against a formidable Indian side in their last T20I assignment. The Caribbean side previously secured a 2-0 T20I series win over Bangladesh at home in July.

Meanwhile, New Zealand are undefeated in their last seven T20I matches. The Black Caps head into the West Indies series in fine form after clinching a 2-0 series win against the Netherlands. The Kiwis earlier secured T20I series victories over Scotland (2-0) and Ireland (3-0). 

Furthermore, New Zealand have a superior head-to-head record against West Indies in T20I cricket, winning nine of the 16 matches that they have played so far. West Indies have registered five victories. Two matches have ended with no result.

WI vs NZ Dream11 prediction

Top tip: Best batter

New Zealand’s Martin Guptill will be the batter to watch out for in the opening T20I. The Kiwi opening batter is currently the second highest run-getter in men’s T20Is, amassing 3,446 runs in 118 matches at an average of 32.20 and a strike rate of 136. Selected by 80.72 per cent of fantasy users, Guptill will be a worthy fantasy pick at 9.5 credits.

Top tip: Best bowler

In the bowling department, West Indies left-arm pacer Obed McCoy will be a decent pick at 9 credits. McCoy finished as the leading wicket-taker in the recently-concluded T20I series against India, picking nine wickets in five matches at an average of 19.33 including a six-wicket haul. The West Indies pacer could trouble the New Zealand batters and will be a smart pick in any fantasy team.

Top tip: Best all-rounder and wicket-keeper

Among the all-rounders, New Zealand’s Michael Bracewell will be a great fantasy pick for this match. The 31-year-old bagged a hat-trick in his maiden T20I during their tour of Ireland. Michael Bracewell has scored 82 runs and claimed six wickets in six T20Is so far. He will be a quality investment to any fantasy team at 9 credits.

For the wicket-keeper spot, West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran will be the preferred choice over Tom Latham of New Zealand. Besides fulfilling his wicket-keeping responsibilities, Pooran scored 81 runs in five T20Is against India at a strike rate of 128.57. The West Indies captain will be a valuable addition to any fantasy team at 9.5 credits.

WI vs NZ T20I full squads

West Indies: Nicholas Pooran (captain/wicket-keeper), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Dominic Drakes, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas (wicket-keeper), Hayden Walsh Jr.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen (wicket-keeper), Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wicket-keeper), Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips (wicket-keeper), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

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Featured photo: Michael Bradley / AFP