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WI hope to improve in New Zealand

West Indies left for the tour of New Zealand keen to win a major Test series away from home for first time in 11 years.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 12:21 IST

West Indies left for their tour of New Zealand on Tuesday keen to win a major Test series away from home for the first time in 11 years.

West Indies last won a Test series against a major side in 1995 in New Zealand, 1-0 over two Tests. That was the last gasp of the great West Indies sides which had dominated cricket for 20 years. "It's another big tour and more big opportunities for the players," coach Bennett King said. "We are focused on playing good, hard cricket."

West Indies didn't have a pre-tour camp, but King said the team was ready having just completed round-robin play in the Carib Beer Series.

He wasn't expecting the New Zealanders to be pushovers. "They don't necessarily have a lot of superstars. Their batters all generally tend to chip in and fight hard," he said. "They do a lot of the basics quite well."

New Zealand have won the last two series between them since 1999, the Black Caps winning three of the four Tests and drawing the other.

The tour will start with a Twenty20 match on Feb 16 in Auckland, followed by five one-day internationals.

The first of three Tests will begin on March 9 in Auckland, by which time Brian Lara, Devon Smith and fast bowler Daren Powell will have joined the side.

Lara, Test cricket's greatest runmaker, was no longer playing one-dayers to prolong his Test career.

Test squad: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (vice-captain), Chris Gayle, Daren Ganga, Devon Smith, Brian Lara, Runako Morton, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Rawl Lewis, Ian Bradshaw, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell.

One-day squad: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (vice-captain), Chris Gayle, Daren Ganga, Wavell Hinds, Runako Morton, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Rawl Lewis, Ian Bradshaw, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Deighton Butler.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 12:21 IST