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September 6, 2012
New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Mills has said that it's important the side regains its form and consistency in the lead-up to the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this month. New Zealand play India in Visakhapatnam on Saturday in the first of two Twenty20 matches before heading to Sri Lanka, where they will warm-up for the event with two matches against equally strong opposition - Australia (September 15) and South Africa (September 17).
New Zealand are coming off a 2-0 series defeat to India in the Tests, and have only the upcoming Twenty20s to resurrect a disappointing tour. Though India have fared poorly in the last two editions of the World Twenty20, Mills said they will be a threat.
"We're playing one of the teams which is usually the No.1 or No.2 favourites before a world event so they're a strong team," Mills said. "They've proved to be really effective at Twenty20 cricket so hopefully we can put in a couple of winning performances before the World T20 and for individuals it's a chance to get some form before we head over to Sri Lanka.
"We have two warm-ups against Australia and South Africa so we've got four really strong games before the major event starts."
Mills is among seven players who have flown in for the Twenty20 leg, including the lead spinner Daniel Vettori, who missed the Tests because of injury. Mills said the players had been preparing well, though the wet weather in the city had halted their training.
"Unfortunately it's bucketing down with rain so we missed training but we've done a lot over the last few weeks," Mills said. "I was fortunate to be involved in the SLPL (playing for Uthura Rudras). I've been training specifically with the white ball, ticking off the various roles I will play in games."
New Zealand have never played a match at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam and the batsman Martin Guptill said the players don't know what to expect of the conditions.
"For most of the guys it is a bit of the unknown," Guptill said. "Brendon (McCullum) must have played here a couple of times (during the IPL) so it's a new experience for most of us."
Guptill was confident the batsmen would turn in a better performance in the shortest format after an inconsistent showing in the Tests.
"T20 requires more of an aggressive mindset and we have a lot of aggressive players in our line-up so I think we can prosper in this series," he said."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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