November 3, 2010

Expect the expected

New Zealand have rarely challenged India in India. This tour is unlikely to change that
  shares 58

Given the contrasting form shown by the two sides in the Test arena in recent times, Daniel Vettori could be forgiven for regarding this trip to India as a hardship tour. But no matter how tough things might get over the coming three weeks, he can console himself with the thought that he's unlikely to find himself ankle-deep in water, desperately trying to get play restarted.

That was Graham Dowling's fate in October 1969, as New Zealand came agonisingly close to winning a series on Indian soil. Having succumbed to the wiles of Bishan Singh Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna in Bombay - they needed just 188, but fell 60 short - they shocked the hosts in Nagpur with Hedley Howarth, the steady Vettori of his day, returning match figures of 9 for 100.

In Hyderabad they were bowled out for 181 and 175, but with India's batsmen unnerved by grass on the pitch, New Zealand were poised to record a famous victory. "India were clearly outplayed, but rain, riots and rows with the umpires lent the game drama, without pleasure," says the Almanack report. The riot, prompted by a soldier assaulting a pitch invader, cost New Zealand half an hour, but it was the clouds that were the bigger enemy.

At 76 for 7, needing 268 for victory, India were down for the count when the heavens opened. The rain fell for just half an hour but attempts to get the game underway again were so tardy that Dowling felt compelled to join in. "Instead of the covers being removed, a few workers with rags, some of them women, were given the task of removing the water from the covers and although there were official denials later, it looked very much like a deliberate go-slow policy," says the Almanack. "For perhaps the first time in cricket history a Test captain [Dowling] was on the field in bare feet, helping to remove the water. The match was abandoned twenty minutes before time..."

In 55 years and eight tours of India, that's as close as New Zealand have come to giving their hosts a bloody nose. Most of these trips have had a common theme. New Zealand had someone, a Bert Sutcliffe or a John Reid, batting supremely well, only for the lack of depth in the ranks to be exploited by India's phalanx of spinners. The series in 1969 was an aberration, with Indian cricket at a particularly low ebb before the advent of Sunil Gavaskar changed everything.

Apart from Nagpur and the near-miss in Hyderabad - both are venues in this series, although the old stadia are no longer in use - New Zealand's lone high watermark in India came in 1988, when the combination of Richard Hadlee (10 for 88) and John Bracewell (6 for 51 in the second innings) sent India tumbling to defeat in Mumbai.

That was another eventful series. The first Test, in Bangalore, saw several New Zealanders succumb to food poisoning, and at one stage Jeremy Coney, who had retired 18 months earlier, was drafted in as a substitute fielder. Hadlee went past Ian Botham's 373 wickets on the first morning of the game, with Arun Lal edging one to the slips, but it was India who won with a measure of comfort there and also in Hyderabad, in the third Test.

The three tours since have offered little by way of drama and excitement. One win sufficed for India in both 1995 and '99, but it was New Zealand who went home happier seven years ago after Daryl Tuffey so nearly embarrassed India in Mohali. Then, as was the case last month, it was VVS Laxman who spared India serious blushes.

The first Test in Ahmedabad will be Vettori's 100th (for New Zealand), and that stat alone gives you a clue as to the challenge his team faces. India have three "centurions" - Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Laxman - and at least two others (Harbhajan Singh has 87 caps and Virender Sehwag 81) who will one day be members of the elite club. Even Zaheer Khan has played 74 Tests in a career interrupted by injury and indifferent form.

Who does Vettori have lining up behind him? Only Chris Martin (56) and Brendon McCullum (52) have played more than 50 Tests. Martin is already 35 and not far from the knacker's yard, while McCullum seems to deal solely in crests and troughs. Ross Taylor, considered one of the senior players in the batting line-up, has just 25 Test caps to his name.

New Zealand don't have to play a Prasanna or a Bedi, but if the one-day struggles against Shakib Al Hasan and friends last month are any indicator, Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan will be eyeing a bagful of wickets. While India's spin stocks are hardly in rude health, most of their concerns centre around the lack of consistent pace support for Zaheer. For both Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth, the series offers an opportunity to discover a semblance of form before they run into Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis.

Given how they have brushed aside most touring sides in recent seasons, it's hard to envisage anything other than an Indian victory. South Africa shared the spoils on their last two trips to India largely because in Dale Steyn they have the finest pace bowler on the planet. Unless Hamish Bennett or Tim Southee can cause similar devastation, expect the scripts to be much the same as those in 1955-56 and 65. Only, this time, with Sehwag batting, there won't be any draws.

Dowling's side so nearly prevailed by being obdurate with the bat and tenacious with the ball. We can expect both from Vettori, a special talent in a less-than-world-class team. But with the support cast either inconsistent or lacking in quality, MS Dhoni could head to South Africa, and the series that will define his captaincy, with 15 Test wins to his name.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    @indian fans, after SA series, we will see lot of indian fans will be shell shocked as they will loose their rank 1 status. it will happen and that will pressurize indian WC preparations. so indian fans, just be calm before it started.

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | November 5, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    @delta So according to you as NZ are weak no team should play them in a 3 test match series . What a ridiculous suggestion. This is an FTP tour and it was decided in 2006 not in 2010.

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | November 4, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Have you ever thought why ICC have scheduled (at least they should have approved of NZ's tour of India) three test matches between India and NZ? Its because India need to strengthen their no. 1 rankings since they believe that India will easily beat NZ........ Since they were not very confident against Australian side so they had only two test matches with them........ This is a joke....... Everybody know that this NZ team is very weak and low on confidence but what I believe is Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson (need to groom him properly and should be given an extended run overlooking the earlier results) and Tim Southee are five of the most talented youngsters in the world.. if they perform to their potential then they can give India a run for their money...

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | November 4, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    @redneck Dont worry it is going to be 3-0 for INdia this time.

  • POSTED BY nivek123 on | November 4, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    @Bang_La... What was that all about.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | November 4, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    @ MyComments, if population is the benchmark, compare NZ with China it may be 1:500 and NZs are better than China!

  • POSTED BY Duckworth_Lewis on | November 4, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    Difficult to disagree. Even an on-form NZ at home would struggle to worry any Indian line up let alone this one with Tendulkar in full flight. Don't think Hamish Bennet will be too terrifying for Laxman and Sehwag. Watching the 'Saw' films one through six is less horrifying, and lasts about nine hours longer, than watching the NZ batting line up at the moment. Despite this the inescapable reality is that the kiwis have no bowling.

  • POSTED BY bringbackleegermon on | November 4, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    Take some inspiration from 2003 lads!.Remember the great home series, where India came to NZ full of arrogance and bombast, and were on the receiving end of a right old thrashing. Go New Zealand!!

  • POSTED BY NZ-Bonza on | November 4, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    @mike5181 - spot on mate. I spent my early years in NZ and moved to OZ when I was a teen. The young age cricket in NZ was as good (if not even better) quality than the stuff I played in Aussie. But, as you say, by the time you reach 13 or 14 you tend to be pushed towards rugby. Rugby is a religion in NZ much the same as cricket is in the sub continent. I also feel NZ's first class system is very poor and the step up to international cricket is just a bridge too far for the average NZ player. I think that NZC shold join forces with Cricket Australia to form a trans tasman league. Much the same as they have done with League and soccer. Look at the difference it has made in rugby league. Playing with and against the best players in world week in week out has lifted the strength of NZ rugby league to no end and some now consider the Kiwis the best team in the world. Lose the current sytem and have a North Island and a South Island team in the Sheffield sheild and watch the results come

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    As a kiwi i'm more interested in the Aussie/Sri Lanka ODI series ... test cricket holds zero interest for me

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    @indian fans, after SA series, we will see lot of indian fans will be shell shocked as they will loose their rank 1 status. it will happen and that will pressurize indian WC preparations. so indian fans, just be calm before it started.

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | November 5, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    @delta So according to you as NZ are weak no team should play them in a 3 test match series . What a ridiculous suggestion. This is an FTP tour and it was decided in 2006 not in 2010.

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | November 4, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Have you ever thought why ICC have scheduled (at least they should have approved of NZ's tour of India) three test matches between India and NZ? Its because India need to strengthen their no. 1 rankings since they believe that India will easily beat NZ........ Since they were not very confident against Australian side so they had only two test matches with them........ This is a joke....... Everybody know that this NZ team is very weak and low on confidence but what I believe is Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson (need to groom him properly and should be given an extended run overlooking the earlier results) and Tim Southee are five of the most talented youngsters in the world.. if they perform to their potential then they can give India a run for their money...

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | November 4, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    @redneck Dont worry it is going to be 3-0 for INdia this time.

  • POSTED BY nivek123 on | November 4, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    @Bang_La... What was that all about.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | November 4, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    @ MyComments, if population is the benchmark, compare NZ with China it may be 1:500 and NZs are better than China!

  • POSTED BY Duckworth_Lewis on | November 4, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    Difficult to disagree. Even an on-form NZ at home would struggle to worry any Indian line up let alone this one with Tendulkar in full flight. Don't think Hamish Bennet will be too terrifying for Laxman and Sehwag. Watching the 'Saw' films one through six is less horrifying, and lasts about nine hours longer, than watching the NZ batting line up at the moment. Despite this the inescapable reality is that the kiwis have no bowling.

  • POSTED BY bringbackleegermon on | November 4, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    Take some inspiration from 2003 lads!.Remember the great home series, where India came to NZ full of arrogance and bombast, and were on the receiving end of a right old thrashing. Go New Zealand!!

  • POSTED BY NZ-Bonza on | November 4, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    @mike5181 - spot on mate. I spent my early years in NZ and moved to OZ when I was a teen. The young age cricket in NZ was as good (if not even better) quality than the stuff I played in Aussie. But, as you say, by the time you reach 13 or 14 you tend to be pushed towards rugby. Rugby is a religion in NZ much the same as cricket is in the sub continent. I also feel NZ's first class system is very poor and the step up to international cricket is just a bridge too far for the average NZ player. I think that NZC shold join forces with Cricket Australia to form a trans tasman league. Much the same as they have done with League and soccer. Look at the difference it has made in rugby league. Playing with and against the best players in world week in week out has lifted the strength of NZ rugby league to no end and some now consider the Kiwis the best team in the world. Lose the current sytem and have a North Island and a South Island team in the Sheffield sheild and watch the results come

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    As a kiwi i'm more interested in the Aussie/Sri Lanka ODI series ... test cricket holds zero interest for me

  • POSTED BY redneck on | November 3, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    i dont think your headline choice is fair on the kiwis. india have only won 1 out of the last 5 tests played in india between the 2 teams. and the last series finshed 0-0. so infact one could say new zealand havent lost a test in india for over a decade!

  • POSTED BY Bang_La on | November 3, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    @Witty365ca, please dont send your "new" cricketers abroad to have "experience". dont you know the balls come at a speed of minimum 145 kmh and always bounce to attack throat? baprey! better pour more water on your pitches and allure all teams to come in to play on those dead pitches.

  • POSTED BY mike5181 on | November 3, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    @avis- ah i would say maybe a quarter likes cricket..so roughly 1.25 million and alot of those see it as a second sport after rugby or something...its not actually the numbers that is the problem. When i was like 12 there were heaps of talented players but when we go to college/high school they get filtered out in other sports especially because schools take priority over clubs and eventually by the end of school literally maybe 2/3 dont even play cricket anymore. On this game though the key men for NZ are Taylor, Ryder, Williamson, McCullum...if they perform with the bat we will do fine..on the bowling it pretty much relies on Vettori and hopefully they can take a couple wickets early but that is doubtful...its weird its always the bowlig that looks the weak part but its the batting that kills us.

  • POSTED BY on | November 3, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    India of all teams should never under-estimate the Kiwis.The Kiwis are hurt and we have to remember the saying "Push a cat to the wall and the claws will come out". Yes they may look like the underdogs but so did Bangladesh in the last series. You never know!

    @bwnz How the hell can BCCI's arrogance(which is an accepted fact) ruin test cricket?

  • POSTED BY thatsgold on | November 3, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    NZ team is: Mcintosh, McCullum, Watling, Taylor, Ryder, Williamson, Hopkins, Vettori, Patel, Bennett, Martin. ryder and williamson will have to share workload...i would have given arnel a go, he seams the ball a lot.

  • POSTED BY MyComments on | November 3, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    I am amazed to see NZ full of talent with population ratio 1:270 against India, and so far matching up against giant India for long time. Indian fans please consider this before comparing 1 to 1 and give due respect to NZ team.

  • POSTED BY hatrick26 on | November 3, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    I think India might be complacent going into the series and if any player reading articles like 'Expect the Expected' in the media, that would only add to the complacency. In B'desh Vs NZ, the home team had to prove that they could really dominate another team and perhaps NZ was complacent. In my opinion, it is time to test the bench strength , players, who have yet to establish themselves in the team to ward off this complacency, instead of the full strength XI.

  • POSTED BY FreeWillSoul on | November 3, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Mr Editor, Is it that too much of education makes you go blind..? makes you to cut off from reality..? not even a single ball has been bowled and you started harping NZ will not create any major impact in this test series. why is it so..? is it because of they lost their recent one day series against bangladesh..? even if it is based on their past experience I really don't think that makes one to write them off completely even before the series is start. In my honest opinion its really going to be a tough tour.NZs will surely spring some surprise and may be this test series may end in draw,but still i would love to see my country India winning the series .Lets be practical,even they are a bunch cricketers of international level and they aren't going to be here as mere passengers.Lets hope for an interesting test series.

  • POSTED BY Witty365ca on | November 3, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    NZ-India is a very important series from perspective of preparation for SA tour. It is very importnat to train new budding cricketers rather than keep relying on oldies for 2 long lest we want to face the situation like Australia to drop from # 1 to #5 position. Sachin is an exception and Dravid's situation cannot be compared to him. Sachin had injuries affecting 2 years of his career but otherwise he was always in tremendous form. As regards Dravid; if he comes back to form; very good for SA tour as you need experienced players like him but it appears that Dravid is a spent force and if he fails; we would be frontending a bright future prospect like Pujara in SA . Remember what has happened in past to many new players who were taken to face Aus/England/SA and failed just because of inadequate foreign experience including Murali Vijay ? Thus I feel that Dravid should be made to retire gracefully & chance given to Pujara/Murali Vijay in the interest of future cricket prospects for India

  • POSTED BY on | November 3, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    @avis1001 - Not much of our population does. Maybe 25% at best. Rugby, Rugby League, Sevens and Soccer are our 4 biggest sports, especially in terms of attendance.

  • POSTED BY KiQa55 on | November 3, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    not so sure abt the 3-0 predictions,..India will win, but after a scare in the 1st test, which will be drawn, a 5th day win in the 2nd, and an unpredictable 3rd..so 2-0 at the best

  • POSTED BY Bang_La on | November 3, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    @ sandy_bangalore, i agree with you. things will not be cake walk as most indian fans are hoping. but i want to watch a good series where indian new blood could show they are ready to be next flag bearers.

  • POSTED BY Bang_La on | November 3, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    @septimius_severus, your reasoning would not fuzz Gupta Ankur as he even does not know there was cricket before Sourav became Indian cricket captain. Nobody told him that how much India humiliated its fans by shameless surrender to everywhere. (Its my favourite story told by Gavasker that when an Indian batsman reported "sick" in one of WI matches, an alternate batsman was asked that he needed to play the match. His response was, "Why me?") LOL Until Indian crafty and humbug cricket board found ways to make money and became the richest sports organisation, cricket world didn't look twice at India. Well, have things much changed for India? Nope. Look how they performed against fast bowling in South Africa :) You are also right, once those five old gems (they were discarded and franticalled called back) are off the field, India cricket will show its skeleton. Wait and see :)

  • POSTED BY Kreacher_Rocks on | November 3, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    This article quite ominously reminds me of the talented Mr. Sehwag's comment "Bangladesh is an ordinary side". Bangladesh almost managed to give India a bloody nose and had it not been for Tendulkar India might have as well given up the first test in that series. Nonetheless it is surprising to see the reactions in some of the non-Indian comments here. When the Australian / English media / players go all cocky about the Ashes, even though Australia hasn't been this bad in their last 12 years, nobody complains. So why the raised eyebrows when someone talks about India owning a series before a ball has been bowled? It is a fact that the current Indian team is much better than the NZ team at least on paper. It is funny how we expect people to be frank, yet expect diplomacy when somebody is being genuinely frank.

  • POSTED BY Razor88 on | November 3, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Indians Don't Dominate and they don't need to either.They are Clinical.Having a team Full of stars thats what You expect.Thats what they have done in the Past and will Continue to do and when retirement comes Lets talk abt it then.yes India is not Playing So many sport compared to NZ or Aus.But let me tell you, Having a population Fully Devoted to Cricket Imagine How many talents can Come.Gauti is there to Take it from the Seniors.Raina is Having a Good time(Except Short stuff). And For your Kind Information.i think we came 2nd in Commonwealth Olympics Games.So its an Improvement And we Do have decent Hokey Team,Jus that not enuf facility to Grow the Game.In future Yea we will Be there on top.Wait for it.We Indians are Good in Making Money Not Being athletic. If ppl in Our Country Play their taxes we will be the Richest too.No Harm to anyone.Jus felt like telling..Thats it!!.and Lastly Indians are not Born Athletes,we r hard workers n Legends worked harder to get where they are.

  • POSTED BY CricketIndiaFanatic on | November 3, 2010, 17:01 GMT

    My take on UDRS which I think will be acceptable to BCCI. Review all decisions of umpires when he gives someone out without anyone asking for review. If the batsman is out then well and good or else he can continue batting. Review should only be done if any appeal for out is denied by umpire and fielding side asks for it. No. of reviews should be fixed like the present rule of three reviews. It will make UDRS more fair otherwise the present system makes asking for review an art which needs abilities other than cricket and is too much circumstancial. So batsman gets out only when their is concurrence of technology with umpires. I don't think this will take extra time. During the review the next batsman should arrive in the field and this will prevent delay.

  • POSTED BY DarkLordoftheSith on | November 3, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    This series is a waste. It does not prepare them for their tour of SA. We'll cream them.

  • POSTED BY on | November 3, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    This is precisely the point where the expected winners let their guard down. Let's hope the team remembers - it's always the supposed underdogs who have a point to prove and nothing to lose!

  • POSTED BY tirtha16 on | November 3, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    the prime concern for the Black Caps would be their dismal batting line up which averages less than 35 (calculating top 6) in tests. Brendon at the top, followed by Taylor, Ryder and Vettori at bottom can prove to be be crucial players for the Kiwis. I think Vettori will shine more as a batsman than a bowler in India. Vettori's Flatter bowling trajectory can be a concern for the Kiwis. He must give little more air to the ball to trouble the Indian Batting line up. I think India should try few young boys in their XI before the demanding tour of SA. I feel Pujara, Raina, Vijay, Sreesanth and Ishant should play leaving out Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer. I also feel Ashwin deserves a chance. I am sure that in any case this is going to be a one sided affair.

  • POSTED BY ragomsk on | November 3, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Everybody is writing NZ off even before a ball is bowled!! I just hope the boot is not on the other leg and caution that he who laughs last laughs best!!

  • POSTED BY Raki99 on | November 3, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Yup as the last sentence says, Dhoni has been very very lucky to have all the seniours in the side performing so well, the first real test for dhoni would be down under in south africa when his batting would be facing the likes of dale sten and morkel brother. The will and they should take care of NZ at home they beat NZ in NZ last year so forget about this series, this should be a cake walk. Rest the seniors and try some young blood.

  • POSTED BY avis1001 on | November 3, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    NZ fans - quick question - how much percentage of your general population like cricket ?

  • POSTED BY Samgen on | November 3, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Fore those who are questioning Dravid's form.. It was not too long ago that people were asking Sachin to retire. Folks like Sachin and Dravid know their game well enough to decide what they should do. Either to cut out a shot, change their batting style or stop doing something (like captaincy) when required. These guys are honest enough to do the right thing without being prodded. I would actually worry about Dhoni's form with the bat though. His form with the bat could put pressure on his captaincy.

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | November 3, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    I think that this series will be closer than what many people are predicting. India will win of course, but i think it will be a hardfought 2-0 or a 1-0, rather than an outright 3-0. I am a big fan of Ross taylor, and hope he makes a couple of hundreds. I wonder how the NZ fans see Mccullum...I see him as being overrated and even the few big innings that he has played were chancy ones. NZ will be scrapping hard after their debacle, so should be a decent series.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | November 3, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    NZ do not have fast bowlers to knock sehwag out. This time sehwag has to decide to gets out or not on his own.

    Vettori is a class spinner and good captian. The issue is can he gets support in bowling department?.

    Batting all depends on two key guys mccullum and ross taylor. I am not sure mccullum good for opening batsman. But watson can do it so is mccullum. He needs to attack loose balls without mercy. He needs to stay at the crease long time for NZ has a chance to draw. I am not sure NZ can win in indian conditions.

    Atleast NZ can use it as a good batting practice and test their ability to stay at the crease like dravid do.

  • POSTED BY zn264 on | November 3, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    hmmm some interesting posts, I think one point that has been made that can't be taken lightly is the fact that we have a very small nation that doesn't play much cricket. To take on a country like India in their own back yard with what really is a bunch of club cricketers is outstanding. We have some real talent in this Kiwi side, a lot of which hasn't been tested, time to see what we're made of. GO THE BLACK CAPS. Will be putting a few quid on a win that's for sure!

  • POSTED BY kasyapm on | November 3, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    As Dhoni said in another article, it is un-wise to take any opponents lightly. NZ might be down, but they are a fighting unit. India should play their best.

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | November 3, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur Are you a college going teenager?

  • POSTED BY on | November 3, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    well, the only real thing that is there in NZ's favor is the rather horific nature of the pitches in India. there is no life whatsoever for the bowlers in many of the roads on which India play, and no wonder as to why Harbhajan and even Ojha has become so defensive. for NZ, with there recent problems, Bhaji and Ojha can create problems, but I expect Zaheer to present the strongest challenge, as he is the only Indian bowler who can take wickets on any horific strips with his ability and skill. all said and done, I won't be surprised if NZ get away with a draw or 2.

  • POSTED BY DINESHCC on | November 3, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    Everybody decided that the series is over and there are no draws and India will win the series. But one should not forget that Vettori is a better spinner than Bhajji and Ojha. Against Bangladesh India bundled out on the first day itself. For the past 30 years we have also not beaten Newzealand convincingly either at home or at away. Indian batsmen thrashed the bowling of Waqar Younis but succummbed to Aquib Javed. In the 2002 series against Newzealand handled Shane Bond very well but failed to get past Tuffey. Therefore please do not take anything granted

  • POSTED BY mike5181 on | November 3, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    @abhirup- yeah i am willing to give Australia 6 months to decide really how bad they are..cant write them off with ponting, clarke, hussey, katich in their batting line up..@Gupta- yeah i agree with everyone else on this site that you are really at the stone-age level of intelligence..if you truly want WI and NZ to leave and taking into account the decline of AUS, the supposed rise of BANG...your looking at IND, SRI, BANG for the rest of your life!! have fun that!!...on a side note i know this NZ team is bad atm...but i think you will see why i rate Ryder- hes seen a little bit as a basher but is seriously talented, Williamson is the same although he looks like he could be a mix of Martin Crowe and Matthew Sinclair!!

  • POSTED BY Evangelyst on | November 3, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    As an Indian fan, my suggestion would be never underestimate a test side. NZ may not be one of the top teams, but they do have some good players, who if in form can make this a good contest, and hence is a team to be respected.

  • POSTED BY bkraks21 on | November 3, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    @mike5181 - chill mate. NZ pathetically struggled against bangladesh. Apples are apples even if u want to call them oranges.

  • POSTED BY 69denise on | November 3, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    NZ have a habit of winning in seemingly impossible situations, just as they have a habit of losing in situations they should dominate (see last series against Bangladesh). I hope that's the case this time, it couldn't be any more one sided on paper. I might have a quick look at the odds on NZ in the first test...

  • POSTED BY bkraks21 on | November 3, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    @East_West - Why badri? what has poor Pujara done wrong?

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | November 3, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    To NZ fans: Please dont give importance to the comments made by the likes of Mr Ankur Gupta, whos cricketing knowledge is roughly the size of a green gram, and is among the first ones to heap abuse at our team when they start doing badly. Let me assure you that majority of the Indian fans arent like that, and there will always be such jingoistic fans in every country. We expect a good series with India being the obvious favourite. NZ would be hurting after their debacle in Bangla, and you can expect them to be comptetitive. McCullum is overrated, but ryder and taylor are serious talents and have a huge following(esp taylor) in my city of Bangalore. I dont know if there are any matches in Bangalore, but he can expect a huge ovation everytime he walks out to bat.

  • POSTED BY its.rachit on | November 3, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    @mike - india is no.1 in the ranking and the best team right now. but not even close to aussies of the last decade or WI of 80s and nobody wud dare say that. but what people like u dont understand (stupid really) that no.1 does not mean best of all times. yes india has won a lot in the last 2-3 years which is why they are the best team in the world. this also does not mean that they are the best in all conditions. and yes, even if they lose in SA, they will still be no.1 cos even SA has not conquered every1 everywhere. so y dont u and rest of the guys jusy shut up and ask ur team to win in india or SL. how can SA be better than india when they lose every time to SL in SL and to australia everywhere. m not even talking abt england. they have not won nething in india /AUS since ages. and someone please explain me this. How is winnign in SA/Aus more creditable than winning in India? seriously, grow up guys .. india is not a world beater, but the best team .. definitely yes ...

  • POSTED BY on | November 3, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    I would just like to point out NZ only has 4million people and still manages to be near the top in the world (top 10). This is the same for hockey. These two games are huge in India but a majority of New Zealanders don't even care about our cricket and hockey teams. I would like to ask where the indian rugby team will be at the coming world cup? or why the indian football team wasnt in south africa?

  • POSTED BY NonStriker on | November 3, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I really like the look of the Kiwi batting lineup from 4 down, maybe a few eyebrows raised and Mr. Gupta busily counting his re-chickens along the way. I just can't figure where 20 wickets will come from. You'd have to back India of course but I don't see it being quite the lay down misere predicted. Watch for Ryder to bat forever, hangover and pot belly notwithstanding. A true people's hero.

  • POSTED BY Rukus_NZ on | November 3, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    It is interesting to see these posts, I am looking forward to this test match as the best teams like india hardly play NZ -- funny to see a comment about rugby, NZ rugby gets the tri nations evry year which is like having an ashes, and playing india ... I would not undercut NZ yet, however there are some players that should not be in this team... Gareth hopkins who cant bat, chris martin who needs to retire... and jamie how should be playing. Either way, Im sure NZ will put up a fight, and Ihope our batsmen dont get pitiful and hav elearnt from thier arrogance that made them get owned like sissiys against Bangladesh

  • POSTED BY abhirup on | November 3, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    @mike5181.... Dude, SA I agree but u can no longer talk about AUS... It seems that even after 10 more years u'll be talking about an in form AUS, as if AUS is going to dominate from the very next game they play.... ENG, we dont consider them as a challenge,.. they can keep playing one Ashes after other against "out of form" Aussies... Just wait a few more months till the tour of SA and all the critics mouths will be shut...

  • POSTED BY East_West on | November 3, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    Dravid the Wall should RETIRE - here is the guy who realized CAPTAINCY has a SHELF LIFE, and now..as a player he is almost becoming one! Such a classy payer struggling to even come out with a decent scores! Hope, they bring BADRI in place of The Wall! As for New Zeland in India, it is going to be tough for Black Caps, however India in NZ is going to be the toughest for Indians! We never could play decent cricket in NZ! As of now, NZ is in a bad shape! However, Daniel's magic might be better to watch than our Bajii's antics!

  • POSTED BY richard17nz on | November 3, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Cocky, yes.. and almost over intelligent. Look at how many people play Rugby in India as a percentage of population. NZ know how to compete at sports and on some occasions they conquer and rule. To knock a rebuilding kiwi side that may never have had true champions only journey-men is an insult to the sport. Welcome NZ and all that they may meekly throw at India... I am sure you will remember when blessed Tendulkar does retire and your team is filled with mortal players what it means to be HUMBLE. Kia Kaha my kiwi boys! give as good as you get but walk tall with pride and play to your potential for once!

  • POSTED BY bwnz on | November 3, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    yes that's right gupta, let's only have 3 or 4 "elite"countries play each other all the time. That'll really help the game grow around the world. Hell, why even stop there - if India are so good why do they need to play anyone?

    Lose the self interest Gupta, your arrogance matches that of the BCCI, which has pretty much wrecked the game (in particular tests) in the last 5 years with greed. Nice one.

  • POSTED BY septimius_severus on | November 3, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    re Gupta.Ankur "NZ-WI-Bang must be relegated..." you might want to think back to times where the now number 1 Indian team were considered a bit of a joke. Cricket moves in cycles. Right now Indian cricket is at a peak but once Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman retire who knows? It was not so long ago that WI dominated everyone. It was also not so long ago that a NZ pace attack lead by Shane Bond ripped the Indian batting apart in New Zealand. NZ have no hope of doing that now but in a few years time (with a team with an average age of about 25 right now) who knows what we may be capable of in the future...

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | November 3, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    I think NZ-WI-Bang must be relegated to second division much like the case in English county system.........

    Nz have no batsman to talk about and so is the case with bowlers.............when you have likes of McCullum eying a opener's slot.............you know what i mean...

    I think senior indian players would be advised to take rest from the whole series itself....

  • POSTED BY mike5181 on | November 3, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    This guy is so cocky...yeah talk up the fill in world number 1. wait until you play SA, an in form AUS, ENG then you can talk and talk..but until that day atleast respect the opposition..yeah NZ is in rock bottom but 3.McCullum- 35 and will improve on that 4.Taylor- 43 5.Ryder- 50 6.Williamson-will average 40+easy 7.Vettor- 50 in the last few years - is nothing to laugh at..India will win but unless you dominate like WI, AUS did which you arent dont take anyone lightly.

  • POSTED BY Razor88 on | November 3, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    The best sentences in the Passage : - "Dale Steyn the finest pace bowler on the planet" - "This time, with Sehwag batting, there won't be any draws" - "MS Dhoni could head to South Africa, and the series that will define his captaincy" well the last sentence is Jus because of My eagerness that all.The Kiwis are the Giant Killers,India Were not Giants before and So are Bangla Now.But This time around its a Diff Story.. they deserve a series Victory.. They have the talent and the Guys to do it.On the other hand India are on Song. Conceded 3 400+ scores and Came to win the Tests(last 3 test)...all the best for Both the Teams wish It would be a Cracker of a series.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Razor88 on | November 3, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    The best sentences in the Passage : - "Dale Steyn the finest pace bowler on the planet" - "This time, with Sehwag batting, there won't be any draws" - "MS Dhoni could head to South Africa, and the series that will define his captaincy" well the last sentence is Jus because of My eagerness that all.The Kiwis are the Giant Killers,India Were not Giants before and So are Bangla Now.But This time around its a Diff Story.. they deserve a series Victory.. They have the talent and the Guys to do it.On the other hand India are on Song. Conceded 3 400+ scores and Came to win the Tests(last 3 test)...all the best for Both the Teams wish It would be a Cracker of a series.

  • POSTED BY mike5181 on | November 3, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    This guy is so cocky...yeah talk up the fill in world number 1. wait until you play SA, an in form AUS, ENG then you can talk and talk..but until that day atleast respect the opposition..yeah NZ is in rock bottom but 3.McCullum- 35 and will improve on that 4.Taylor- 43 5.Ryder- 50 6.Williamson-will average 40+easy 7.Vettor- 50 in the last few years - is nothing to laugh at..India will win but unless you dominate like WI, AUS did which you arent dont take anyone lightly.

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | November 3, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    I think NZ-WI-Bang must be relegated to second division much like the case in English county system.........

    Nz have no batsman to talk about and so is the case with bowlers.............when you have likes of McCullum eying a opener's slot.............you know what i mean...

    I think senior indian players would be advised to take rest from the whole series itself....

  • POSTED BY septimius_severus on | November 3, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    re Gupta.Ankur "NZ-WI-Bang must be relegated..." you might want to think back to times where the now number 1 Indian team were considered a bit of a joke. Cricket moves in cycles. Right now Indian cricket is at a peak but once Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman retire who knows? It was not so long ago that WI dominated everyone. It was also not so long ago that a NZ pace attack lead by Shane Bond ripped the Indian batting apart in New Zealand. NZ have no hope of doing that now but in a few years time (with a team with an average age of about 25 right now) who knows what we may be capable of in the future...

  • POSTED BY bwnz on | November 3, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    yes that's right gupta, let's only have 3 or 4 "elite"countries play each other all the time. That'll really help the game grow around the world. Hell, why even stop there - if India are so good why do they need to play anyone?

    Lose the self interest Gupta, your arrogance matches that of the BCCI, which has pretty much wrecked the game (in particular tests) in the last 5 years with greed. Nice one.

  • POSTED BY richard17nz on | November 3, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Cocky, yes.. and almost over intelligent. Look at how many people play Rugby in India as a percentage of population. NZ know how to compete at sports and on some occasions they conquer and rule. To knock a rebuilding kiwi side that may never have had true champions only journey-men is an insult to the sport. Welcome NZ and all that they may meekly throw at India... I am sure you will remember when blessed Tendulkar does retire and your team is filled with mortal players what it means to be HUMBLE. Kia Kaha my kiwi boys! give as good as you get but walk tall with pride and play to your potential for once!

  • POSTED BY East_West on | November 3, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    Dravid the Wall should RETIRE - here is the guy who realized CAPTAINCY has a SHELF LIFE, and now..as a player he is almost becoming one! Such a classy payer struggling to even come out with a decent scores! Hope, they bring BADRI in place of The Wall! As for New Zeland in India, it is going to be tough for Black Caps, however India in NZ is going to be the toughest for Indians! We never could play decent cricket in NZ! As of now, NZ is in a bad shape! However, Daniel's magic might be better to watch than our Bajii's antics!

  • POSTED BY abhirup on | November 3, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    @mike5181.... Dude, SA I agree but u can no longer talk about AUS... It seems that even after 10 more years u'll be talking about an in form AUS, as if AUS is going to dominate from the very next game they play.... ENG, we dont consider them as a challenge,.. they can keep playing one Ashes after other against "out of form" Aussies... Just wait a few more months till the tour of SA and all the critics mouths will be shut...

  • POSTED BY Rukus_NZ on | November 3, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    It is interesting to see these posts, I am looking forward to this test match as the best teams like india hardly play NZ -- funny to see a comment about rugby, NZ rugby gets the tri nations evry year which is like having an ashes, and playing india ... I would not undercut NZ yet, however there are some players that should not be in this team... Gareth hopkins who cant bat, chris martin who needs to retire... and jamie how should be playing. Either way, Im sure NZ will put up a fight, and Ihope our batsmen dont get pitiful and hav elearnt from thier arrogance that made them get owned like sissiys against Bangladesh

  • POSTED BY NonStriker on | November 3, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I really like the look of the Kiwi batting lineup from 4 down, maybe a few eyebrows raised and Mr. Gupta busily counting his re-chickens along the way. I just can't figure where 20 wickets will come from. You'd have to back India of course but I don't see it being quite the lay down misere predicted. Watch for Ryder to bat forever, hangover and pot belly notwithstanding. A true people's hero.