After defeating New Zealand comprehensively in the National Bank One Day Series with a Margin of 3 victories to 1 loss, A Confident looking Indian side under the captaincy of M.S Dhoni will now look to create another new chapter in their Winning streak of late by winning the Test Series in New Zealand for the first time in nearly 4 decades.
New Zealand remains the only country in which India have not won a Test since they became competitive away from the subcontinent. India’s solitary Test-series success in New Zealand was four decades ago, their last Test triumph here was in 1976, and their last tour in 2002-03 ended in a disastrous 2-0 rout. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men created history over the last two weeks by winning their first ever one-day series in New Zealand, and another such opportunity lies ahead of them.
Pitch & conditions
New Zealand scored 270 for 5 in the Seddon Park ODI, and Sehwag and Gambhir ransacked 201 runs off 23.3 overs before rain handed India victory by the D/L method. The Test-match pitch, according to Vettori, “will be pretty flat”. “Maybe win the toss and bat first, but we just have to wait and see how it shapes up,” he said. “There is a little bit of live grass on it but generally it is a pretty good deck here.”
Dhoni felt that the conditions would help the seamers more than the pitch. “Looks like a good wicket, definitely there will be a bit of help for the seamers,” he said “More than the wicket, the conditions will favour bowlers, the ball will move.”
The weather in Hamilton on the two days leading up to the Test has been hot and clear. However, there are showers forecast for the second and third days of the match.
“You have got to take them on. The war of attrition probably won’t work. I think we have got to be aggressive but in saying that, we have got to be disciplined. Those are the things we didn’t quite get right in the one-day series. We didn’t stick at our plans for long enough. In a Test match you just have to do that, otherwise a side like India will blow you off the park.”
Vettori says his team will have to be disciplined yet aggressive in order to beat India.
“I am not bothered about whether we have won here or not. I am just bothered about the things we need to do over here as a team. We are not thinking about what happened in the past. I am not great when it comes to stats, so that really helps.”
Dhoni isn’t burdened by history.