The absence of Lockie Ferguson in the New Zealand Test squad is a big boost for the West Indies as the two sides prepare to do battle.

A two-match series gets underway on Thursday with the first Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton and the hosts are big favourites.

New Zealand v England - Second Test: Day 2
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With Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, they have real quality in their batting lineup, while Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are three world-class options with the ball in hand.

However, in leaving out Lockie Ferguson, the New Zealand selectors may have missed a trick.

The 29-year-old only has one Test appearance to his name and he broke down in that outing in Perth last year.

However, he has an excellent record in first-class cricket and he showed during the T20I series against West Indies that he’s firing on all cylinders right now.

Lockie Ferguson - New Zealand v West Indies - T20 Game 1
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Ferguson took 7 wickets from just nine overs across three matches, with his pace and hostility proving too much for the tourists.

Of the opposition batsmen who faced him in the white-ball arena, only Shimron Hetmyer is in the Test squad.

Yet, there’s a fragility to the West Indies red-ball batting lineup that was laid bare by the pace of Jasprit Bumrah in the Caribbean in 2019 and had he been included, there’s every chance Ferguson could have ripped through the tourists.

Instead, Phil Simmons’ men will know that for all the skill and quality in a New Zealand bowling attack featuring Boult, Southee, Wagner and Kyle Jamieson, there’s no out-and-out pacer to fear.

Wellington v Auckland - Plunket Shield: Day 3
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The likes of Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo will be looking stand up for a West Indies side who were trounced in their last series on these shores and they surely have a better chance of doing so with Lockie Ferguson – one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket right now – over 100km away in Mount Maunganui with New Zealand A.

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