Hira looking to be 'street smart' in India T20s
Ronnie Hira, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, has said he'll look to be 'street smart' in the Twenty20s against India, if he gets a chance in the playing XI. Hira, who is returning from an injury break, is the second spinner in the squad for India, behind Daniel Vettori. Nathan McCullum, the offspinner, isn't in India as his wife is expecting a child, but he is expected to return for the World Twenty20 later this month.*
"I'll go in with the same sort of plans that I have had before: try to not go wicket hunting but try to dry the runs up, and hopefully the wickets will come from the other end," Hira told APNZ. "I've got to be a little more street smart about the pace and variations, and a little bit of line as well. I've been working on those in the nets and I'll be continuing to work on those during these two Twenty20s."
Hira had dislocated a finger during the first Twenty20 against West Indies during New Zealand's tour of the Caribbean in July, after being struck by a Chris Gayle straight hit in his follow through. He had not played any competitive cricket since, but said he now feels ready to get back into action. "The finger's healed all right. I've been training over the last week and preparing well with the support staff and the coaches."
The bigger question for Hira would be whether he gets a game in the two-match series. If he doesn't, he will not let that worry him, Hira said. "Hopefully I can try to show my wares [in India] a little bit. I'm just here trying to help New Zealand win and if I can do my part - whether that's carrying the drinks or if I get a chance to play - then that will be great."
New Zealand, he said, were ready for the challenge India could pose. "They play spin very well and, on these decks, the ball turning doesn't seem to make that much difference to them. It's going to be tough but we'll be ready for it."
* - 1500 GMT, September 7 - This was amended to mention that Nathan McCullum wasn't part of the squad for India