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December 9, 2010
Ross Taylor, the New Zealand batsman, has said it would be "very hard to bet against India" going into the 2011 World Cup. Despite the absence of several first-choice players, India have dominated New Zealand to run up a 4-0 lead in the ongoing five-match series, prompting Taylor to make his prediction ahead of the last game in Chennai.
"The team is young but has experienced players," Taylor said. "They go in as favourites for the World Cup, not only because of the home conditions but also on account of their experience. They are a very talented bunch of players. Virat Kohli and Praveen Kumar are still inexperienced but they have been very successful in their international careers."
New Zealand were completely outplayed in the first three matches of the series before their batting clicked in Bangalore. That could not stop India from winning, thanks to a blinder from Yusuf Pathan, but Taylor hoped his side would draw from the batting gains and get a consolation win to round off the tour.
"We take confidence from our last match when for the first time we really played well," he said. "We back ourselves to restrict India with the ball as well here. In the last match, we really stood up with a batting performance by posting 315, but we didn't field as well.
"Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum are the only guys who have played in India before. For the rest of the side, it is a learning experience. Hopefully it would help our players in the World Cup."
Apart from inexperience, New Zealand's chances have also been hampered by the inability of their top order to convert its starts, while India have had centuries in each of the four games. Taylor said he hoped to make amends and push on to make a big score in the final game.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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