New Zealand in India 2012 August 20, 2012

'New Zealand are going to struggle in India'

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand are in for a tough time in India in the Test series due to questions over their ability to take 20 wickets in a Test, the lack of world-class players, and some poor form coming in to the tour, according to former opener Mark Richardson and former fast bowler Simon Doull.

Richardson and Doull, in conversation with Harsha Bhogle on ESPNcricinfo's audio show Time Out, said the changes in structure, the appointment of a new coach and inconsistency from some of the team's senior players added to New Zealand's problems.

"I think New Zealand are going to struggle," Richardson said. "There's no form behind them, they're going to a very difficult place to succeed. The motivation will be there but I believe they are down on confidence.

"I just can't see this New Zealand team bowling out India. So draws, and one or two times that [Brendon] McCullum and [Ross] Taylor might come off may give them a chance in the shorter games."

New Zealand were beaten 0-2 in the Tests against West Indies before this tour, and they will be without Daniel Vettori, their lead spinner, due to injury. They have five seamers in the squad and two spinners, Tarun Nethula and Jeetan Patel. Doull, though, said a four-pronged pace attack - Chris Martin, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell - was the way to go for the visitors.

"If they [spinners] are part of your four best bowlers, play them," Doull said. "The flip side is, the Indians play ordinary spin a lot better. Our four best bowlers are our four quicks. There's no point playing average spinners against very good quality Indian batsmen."

New Zealand's lean run in recent times owed in part to their senior players, like Vettori and McCullum, not meeting expectations, Richardson said. Vettori picked up just four wickets in his previous four Tests, while McCullum got starts in five of his last eight innings, but went past 50 only twice.

"McCullum is massively talented but massively overrated as well," Richardson said. "He just doesn't perform enough. When he does, it's staggeringly good and sticks in people's minds, but in the end it averages out to around about 30. Vettori once was a magnificent left-arm spinner. He is still very good but has lost the ability to take wickets. The key players have failed to be the catalyst for performance and the youngsters simply aren't at the level to make up for that."

McCullum, Vettori and Taylor are among the New Zealand players with IPL contracts and there could be uncertainty over their availability for part of the tour of England next year as it clashes with the league. Doull said they were able to play in the IPL because they performed for their national team on the world stage. "I wonder if too many players around the world forget that that is where they were predominantly first seen [international cricket], and that's where their loyalties should lie."

New Zealand are currently ranked No. 8 in both Tests and ODIs. When asked if they could only become a bigger force in the shorter formats, Doull said: "The stats are just not stacking up, to say we'll be a better one-day side. There will be the odd good performance like there was in the World Cup, but remember South Africa [in the quarter-final] was the only side we had to beat in a one-off situation. To play [and win] three or four games in a row, we don't seem to be able to do that."

Listen to the show here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VINODK on August 22, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    I dont think either of the teams has the ability to take 20 wickets to win unless we prepare rank turners. @ Anand Lakhkar , Cpt Meanster's right, Kumble was nowhere in Warne's or Murali's class as a bowler

  • RAJARAMAN on August 22, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    NZ will struggle only if dust bowls are offered for tests ... otherwise, even India is on the transition with many youngsters in the team and may struggle ... all these out-of-form theories will wither away with one good performance ... NZ can still be competitive in this series ...

  • Dennis on August 22, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Yeah NZ were to supposed to struggle last time and we only lost 1/0 in a three test series and from what i remember it was a slogging Harbajan century which got them out of a big hole in one of the tests

  • D on August 22, 2012, 1:03 GMT

    I think NZ won't struggle and I say that unbiasedly as I'm an Indian fan. NZ in fact will draw the series and will have a chance at winning now that Dravid and Laxman are gone from the side. Hope I'm wrong and the Indian youngsters prove their worth.

  • Rajavel on August 22, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    Dhoni is the useless player in test especially outside the subcontitent.. He is the only captain didnt make even single century out of the SC.. But still he remains the captain, I dont know why people dont understand the fact limited cricket is much different from test cricket.. If You keep dhoni as a test captain for his limited cricket achievements then its going to demolish india's test cricket. Get out from the test squad dhoni pls.

  • michael on August 21, 2012, 22:58 GMT

    Richardson and Doull are 100% correct. NZ can't bowl India out for less than 400-450 and the NZ batsmen can't accumulate more the 200-250 per innings in 2 consecutive innings. NZ cricket is in for a dirty great disgrace.

  • Jay on August 21, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    If you ask me personally, I would like to see a good, hard fought test match between India and NZ. Sure, NZ may look weak but the last mistake any sports team should commit is to underestimate the opposition. No matter how strong a team is, it should respect the opposition and value their competition. I hope we see an interesting test series. I expect NZ to put up a good show. I have immense respect towards Kiwi sport, mainly due to their rugby exploits. Ross Taylor should motivate his boys and it all starts with him. He's a very talented player and should lead with example. Best of luck to both teams.

  • Rajavel on August 21, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    Do not under estimate kiwis. India is no longer great team in home without Rahul and laxman. This series going to be very interesting. I wanted to see india losing this series and Great test captain throwing out from the test team.. Dhoni must be kicked out from Tests at any cost,. Bring someone like Dinesh or saga for his position even naman ojha better suited than Dhoni.

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    India obviously need to win both matches, they do not want a draw, as the win will bring them closer in the rankings to becoming NO.1 again hopefully. i am fully confident that nz wont be able to bowl India out, but at the same time India need to play smart, and make sure they have enough time and runs to bowl nzland out twice, best thing for India too do in both matches, is win the toss bat first, put up 650-700 in two days, and use the remaining 3 days where there will be maximum turn, and bowl out nzland. the bowling will win india this series, since they need to take wickets quickly. i am looking forward to see umesh yadav catch back his form, and take wickets like he did against west indes.

  • Jay on August 21, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    @Anand Lakhkar: I didn't mean to put Kumble down. But even he would tell you he wasn't in the same class as Warne and Murali. He was a good bowler no doubt. That's what I meant. Woah ! looks like you are huge Kumble fan... picked that from your Facebook profile :D !

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