DUNEDIN, New Zealand – Vice captain and wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin said West Indies need to successfully get through the initial exchanges in the first Test against New Zealand to set the tone for the rest of the series.

West Indies vice captain and wicketkeeper Dinesh Ramdin. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

The first Test opens on Tuesday at the intimate University Oval in the second largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the principal city of the Otago Region.

“It looks like a good batting track,” said Ramdin, one of only two players that have ever played a Test in this country.

“The first day is going to very important – the first hour. Whoever wins the toss will have to make the most of the opportunity either batting or bowling first.”

He added: “It’s not like the Caribbean where you can hit through the line. You have to assess the conditions and bat very long.

“The New Zealanders are going to bowl in [good] areas and try to get wickets early, so we will need to work hard as a batting group.”

The Windies are looking to bounce back from a difficult tour of India, where they lost both Tests against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side inside three days.

Ramdin said getting over the conditions, including the unfamiliar weather that sees temperatures dip below 20 degrees Celsius will also be important.

The visitors trained under sunny skies on Monday, something that Ramdin said the players welcomed.

“This is lovely weather,” he said. “It’s back like the Caribbean now. If the weather stays like this, I think we’ll have some more confidence.”

He said: “We see this series as a fresh start. What happened in India is in the past. There were more spinner-friendly pitches there, but I believe most of our batsmen like the ball coming onto the bat, so I expect them to express themselves more.

“It’s not going to be easy though, the ball is going to be moving around a bit so we have to counteract that.”

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