Auckland (New Zealand), Mar.16 (ANI): The Indian cricket team will look to alter its far from satisfactory Test record in New Zealand when the first Test gets underway in Hamilton from Wednesday.
Having already won their first one-day cricket series on New Zealand soil, their upgraded squad is now confidently seeking to right another imbalance in the Test arena.
Until Virender Sehwag’s century powered India to victory at Hamilton last week, India had not won an ODI series here in six attempts harking back to the mid 1970s.
Their record in Tests makes equally grim reading – five fruitless journeys since the class of 1967-68 triumphed 3-1.
The current tour party, reinforced by batting luminaries Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman, promise to pose a tough proposition on wickets unlikely to be as treacherous as during their 0-2 series loss in 2002-03, reports the NZPA.
India’s batsmen have already prospered against the cream of New Zealand’s bowling apart from James Franklin, and possibly Chris Martin.
And with Dravid already acclimatised thanks to a century as a ring-in for Canterbury, impressive tyro Suresh Raina should not be missed.
Laxman, opener Murali Vijay plus bowlers Lakshmipathy Balaji, Dhawal Kulkarni and Amit Mishra will also join the squad as the ODI specialists head home.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni welcomed the test players merging into an already buoyant squad who are at least publicly unaffected by the emphatic defeat in the dead rubber yesterday.
“It’s not about what you have done, it’s about starting from scratch again,” Dhoni said.
“In tests you need good consistent cricket over a period of time, not just one session.”
India seem in tune with that philosophy.
They have lost just two of their last seven series – a sequence that sees them ranked third in the International Cricket Council’s test rankings. (ANI)