HAMILTON - Being without banned off-spinner Shane Shillingford may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the West Indies as they seek to salvage the Test series against New Zealand in Hamilton.
Shillingford is suspended from bowling in international matches after independent biomechanical testing found his elbow bent too much when delivering his standard off-break and his doosra.
His place in the tourists' line-up for the third Test is set to go to Sunil Narine, who has bamboozled the Black Caps' batsmen with his variations in the past, and has himself had his action called into question.
Last year he took eight wickets in Antigua, including a five-wicket bag, as New Zealand crashed to a nine-wicket defeat and followed that up with three cheap second innings wickets to set up a five-wicket win in the second Test in Jamaica.
The off-spinner's five Tests to date have yielded 15 wickets with a dozen of the scalps New Zealanders.
Shillingford took four second innings wickets in Dunedin as the Black Caps chased quick runs to win the Test, but his six wickets against New Zealand have come at an average of 42.66 compared to his understudy's 25.66.
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling who opened the batting in the second Test on the West Indies' tour last year knows that the 25-year-old Narine can be a handful.
"We've got to have a look at Narine. He's a different type of bowler to Shillingford so we'll have to make sure we do our scouting and make sure that we adapt to his type of spin," Watling said.
Watling said he felt for Shillingford who will have to remodel his bowling action for a second time.
"He's a good bowler and you want your best spinners around the world all playing so it'll be disappointing for him but I'm sure they'll work it out."
New Zealand have called up the uncapped Otago allrounder Jimmy Neesham as cover for Corey Anderson who has injured his right shin, but who remains confident of taking the field at Seddon Park.
New Zealand lead the three-Test series 1-0 after winning the second Test at the Basin Reserve by an innings and 73 runs.