India in New Zealand 2013-14 January 16, 2014

Old doubts follow India bowlers to NZ

130

"It is quite far from India," was MS Dhoni's first reaction when asked how he felt on reaching New Zealand. That was at Auckland airport, and Dhoni still had one last flight to take to Napier, where the tour will kick off with the first of five ODIs on Sunday.

He might be around 18 hours of flying time and multiple stopovers away from home, but Dhoni faces the same old issue. How to keep his bowlers from leaking runs. India went for 280 in the second ODI against South Africa in Durban last month, and then collapsed for 146, but Dhoni felt it was an achievement for his bowlers to have gone for as little, or as many, as they did.

In a way, it was an achievement, for bowlers who conceded 358 and 301 either side of Durban. Before that, in six attempts against Australia at home, the lowest they had managed was 295. There is hardly any Dhoni press conference these days where he does not mention how harsh the new fielding restrictions are on him.

"Individuals have to step up when you play with the new rules," Dhoni said before leaving for New Zealand. "You need to be aware of your bowling. You need to be confident that you can bowl with only four fielders out. We have seen that with the new rules, even the top bowlers in the world have had to bowl with fine leg and third man in the circle. You'll have to be comfortable about your own bowling and you really need to know your strengths well. We'll have to wait and watch. To see how they perform under pressure."

Adding to Dhoni's familiar concern is the location. Cricket in New Zealand is usually played on rugby grounds, which means the shape of the outfield is anything but normal. It is not easy for a visiting captain to immediately work out the angles and place his fielders in optimal positions. This time, Dhoni will have the experience of his previous visit in 2009, but how much he is able to draw upon that with one less deep fielder allowed now remains to be seen.

"I remember when I went to New Zealand for the first time, I was confused with some of the fielding positions because of the unusual shape of some of the grounds. So when we used to have a short fine-leg, we had to keep him so wide that from the wicketkeeper's angle he was almost at square leg but still the ball kept going to him. It does take some time to get used to it.

"The grounds here have a very different shape. You are used to playing in grounds that are oval or round. As a bowler, till you don't play here it is very difficult to pinpoint the fielding position. It will be a good experience for some of us who have not played here."

Dhoni is expecting the pitches for the one-dayers to be flatter ahead of the two Tests. India's bowlers, particularly at the death, are often found lacking in batting-friendly conditions. Even on more helpful surfaces in South Africa recently, they were expensive. Although Dhoni felt India's death bowling had improved, he admitted there were lessons to be learnt from their previous tour.

"(In) South Africa, we were on the shorter side. We did not get enough time to prepare or to get used to the bounce. Outside the subcontinent if you are on the shorter side and you don't have that express pace, it means you can go for runs. That is what happened in that series."

The grounds here have a very different shape. You are used to playing in grounds that are oval or round. As a bowler, till you don't play here it is very difficult to pinpoint the fielding position
MS Dhoni

That series is gone. India had around ten days off after South Africa before they started their journey to New Zealand. They will have had five days to acclimatise and prepare before the first ODI. They did fielding drills and played football on the first one, after which they've had two full sessions at Nelson Park, across the road from McLean Park, where Sunday's ODI will be played.

To Indians, Nelson Park could pass off as one of the centrally-located grounds in the numerous MIG colonies in the country, only it is thrice as big. It is surrounded by neat, spacious one-storeyed houses. The floodlights of McLean Park tower over one side, while Napier Hill, with more houses and a steep road thrown in, looks down from the other.

It is a beautiful setting to "enjoy" some cricket, as Mohammed Shami was heard saying during a long bowling stint. Bowling coach Joe Dawes seemed to be telling him to hit the pitch hard; India fast bowlers, used to releasing the ball to try and find swing on low home pitches, are often not able to dig it in when they tour. Shami took notice and generated steep bounce, keeping the batsmen on the back foot. While Ishwar Pandey was nowhere near as sharp, he produced several accurate yorkers, something he had also done on the A tour to South Africa. The skills are being tweaked and sharpened; Dhoni will want them to hold together "under pressure" when New Zealand's power-hitters get going.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on January 18, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Who will take 20 wickets? That too within reasonable time and runs. The question still remains.

  • on January 17, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Jadeja should be in ahead of Ashwin. Pacers should be Shami and Bhuvi, Also Karthik, Rayudu and Pujara should be given opportunities.

  • cricketFanINDIAN on January 17, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    my team will be dhawan,rohit,kohli,rayudu,raina,dhoni,ashwin,bhuvi,shami,umesh,ishant...dinesh karthick and gambhir must be in odi squad bcos u see in all world cup finals GAMBHIR is higher scorer and he is never giveup....opening bowler will be bhuvi and umesh and replace umesh by shami and replace both by ishant and ashwin and death over will be bowl by shami and umesh....umesh must bowl good yorkers

  • DhairyBoghani on January 17, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    To become superpower in world & win worldcup2015 India have to have genuine fast bowling all rounder. India have Jadeja & Aswin as spin bowling allrounders but not enough to play in NZ/SA/AUS/ENG/WI. all teams have one/two fast bowling allrounders as their key sucess. ENG-Bopara & Stokes SA-Kallis & Maklaran AUS-Faulkner & Watson WI-Sammy & Polard & Bravo.

    So I think India should use Binny in all 5 ODIs and after that bring R.Dhavan/Nayar/Shukla as another allrounder.

  • cricketFanINDIAN on January 17, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    my team will be dhawan,rohit,kohli,rayudu,raina,dhoni,ashwin,bhuvi,shami,umesh,ishant...dinesh karthick must be in odi squad

  • DhairyBoghani on January 17, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    To become superpower in world & win worldcup2015 India have to have genuine fast bowling all rounder. India have Jadeja & Aswin as spin bowling allrounders but not enough to play in NZ/SA/AUS/ENG/WI. all teams have one/two fast bowling allrounders as their key sucess. ENG-Bopara & Stokes SA-Kallis & Maklaran AUS-Faulkner & Watson WI-Sammy & Polard & Bravo.

    So I think India should use Binny in all 5 ODIs and after that bring R.Dhavan/Nayar/Shukla as another allrounder.

  • Naresh28 on January 17, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    All Iindian fans should be ratiional in their comments especially after the SA tour. Dhoni and his team will have to work hard to win. They need to stand up for each other when one or the other fails. Bowlers need to really step up instead of getting protected by Dhoni every time. And this is the major downfall of team India. Our bowlers. Even a target of 250-300 should be defended by our bowlers. I hope ICC review the ODI rules which has made it harder for the bowlers.

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 17, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Dhoni is now the senior most member of his team. He should start behaving like a mentor and talent spotter. This is where Ganguly and the great Imran Khan excelled. Instead of playing the same old Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Raina, and Ashwin, he should take the initiative in spotting talent. Try Varun or Ishwar instead of Ishant, at least in ODI. Try Rasool instead of Ashwin. Maybe play Rayudu instead of Raina. After all, what's the fun in losing with the same bunch of players every time??

  • on January 17, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Australia conceded 100 in the last 10 overs and England also conceded that many. Will everyone stop criticizing the Indian bowlers now? Everyone is struggling with these new rules.

  • on January 17, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    satchander you are right. in that context Ganguly is miles ahead of Dhoni. Who were the stars of Indian World Cup Win were specially handpicked by Dada Dhoni was lucky to have them. Yuvi,Sehwag, Bhajji,Nehra,Zaheer,Kaif are the few names I recall. This is one of the major flaws of dhoni. I realized this when India were touring England in 2012 and were beaten 0-4 in the tests and in the ODI series Dhoni persisted with Vinay and Praveen even though we kept on losing the ODI's and we had a raw and quick rookie fast bowler in Varun Aaron.

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on January 18, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Who will take 20 wickets? That too within reasonable time and runs. The question still remains.

  • on January 17, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Jadeja should be in ahead of Ashwin. Pacers should be Shami and Bhuvi, Also Karthik, Rayudu and Pujara should be given opportunities.

  • cricketFanINDIAN on January 17, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    my team will be dhawan,rohit,kohli,rayudu,raina,dhoni,ashwin,bhuvi,shami,umesh,ishant...dinesh karthick and gambhir must be in odi squad bcos u see in all world cup finals GAMBHIR is higher scorer and he is never giveup....opening bowler will be bhuvi and umesh and replace umesh by shami and replace both by ishant and ashwin and death over will be bowl by shami and umesh....umesh must bowl good yorkers

  • DhairyBoghani on January 17, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    To become superpower in world & win worldcup2015 India have to have genuine fast bowling all rounder. India have Jadeja & Aswin as spin bowling allrounders but not enough to play in NZ/SA/AUS/ENG/WI. all teams have one/two fast bowling allrounders as their key sucess. ENG-Bopara & Stokes SA-Kallis & Maklaran AUS-Faulkner & Watson WI-Sammy & Polard & Bravo.

    So I think India should use Binny in all 5 ODIs and after that bring R.Dhavan/Nayar/Shukla as another allrounder.

  • cricketFanINDIAN on January 17, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    my team will be dhawan,rohit,kohli,rayudu,raina,dhoni,ashwin,bhuvi,shami,umesh,ishant...dinesh karthick must be in odi squad

  • DhairyBoghani on January 17, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    To become superpower in world & win worldcup2015 India have to have genuine fast bowling all rounder. India have Jadeja & Aswin as spin bowling allrounders but not enough to play in NZ/SA/AUS/ENG/WI. all teams have one/two fast bowling allrounders as their key sucess. ENG-Bopara & Stokes SA-Kallis & Maklaran AUS-Faulkner & Watson WI-Sammy & Polard & Bravo.

    So I think India should use Binny in all 5 ODIs and after that bring R.Dhavan/Nayar/Shukla as another allrounder.

  • Naresh28 on January 17, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    All Iindian fans should be ratiional in their comments especially after the SA tour. Dhoni and his team will have to work hard to win. They need to stand up for each other when one or the other fails. Bowlers need to really step up instead of getting protected by Dhoni every time. And this is the major downfall of team India. Our bowlers. Even a target of 250-300 should be defended by our bowlers. I hope ICC review the ODI rules which has made it harder for the bowlers.

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 17, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Dhoni is now the senior most member of his team. He should start behaving like a mentor and talent spotter. This is where Ganguly and the great Imran Khan excelled. Instead of playing the same old Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Raina, and Ashwin, he should take the initiative in spotting talent. Try Varun or Ishwar instead of Ishant, at least in ODI. Try Rasool instead of Ashwin. Maybe play Rayudu instead of Raina. After all, what's the fun in losing with the same bunch of players every time??

  • on January 17, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Australia conceded 100 in the last 10 overs and England also conceded that many. Will everyone stop criticizing the Indian bowlers now? Everyone is struggling with these new rules.

  • on January 17, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    satchander you are right. in that context Ganguly is miles ahead of Dhoni. Who were the stars of Indian World Cup Win were specially handpicked by Dada Dhoni was lucky to have them. Yuvi,Sehwag, Bhajji,Nehra,Zaheer,Kaif are the few names I recall. This is one of the major flaws of dhoni. I realized this when India were touring England in 2012 and were beaten 0-4 in the tests and in the ODI series Dhoni persisted with Vinay and Praveen even though we kept on losing the ODI's and we had a raw and quick rookie fast bowler in Varun Aaron.

  • spinkingKK on January 17, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Please don't put unnecessary pressure on the death bowling. I think if you can get away with 100 runs in the last 10 overs, your bowlers have done well. Because, that's what most of the teams score in those overs. So, why blame the bowlers? End of the day, ODI's have changed in such a way that the bowlers don't have much say in the result. The way it goes, a time will come when the teams are allowed to bring a bowling machine instead of the bowlers and whichever team makes more mistakes in hitting sixers, will end up losing the match. Until then, Pack the team with some good batsmen who can bowl a bit.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 17, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Better late than never - just chuck Dhoni out of the test team, bring in Dinesh Karthik and make Pujara our Captain for Tests. Our overseas record is now 9-0. Thanks for this series, we will change that scoreline. But against stronger opposition, the story will be dismal again. Kohli can be made captain in ODIs and Pujara his deputy. Dhoni should just be a wk/slogger. In t20s, Kohli can be made captain and DK should play at 3 or 4 with Dhoni playing as wk/slogger. Bottomline, DK deserves his place in tests and t20s.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 17, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    Though we have walking wickets in Dhoni and Nohit and a bowler who bowls for the opposition in Ishant Sharma, I have no doubt that NZ will be thrashed real bad.

  • SLslider on January 17, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    @ VKholi_theGreat Whatever resources you have still you always thrash us everywhere. I have seen my fellow SL fans looking for excuses before the match has even started against INDIA. You have scarred our team for life and have ended the career of one of the best ODI bowlers ever. Malinga. MSD has won every trophy there is. He even took team to no. 1 Test rankings. We don't even know how that feels. You have won all ICC tournaments outside ASIA as well. We are yet to win a single test match in AUS and IND. We just got beaten by NZ C team at our home. First we have to win something to be compared to IND. Our bowlers averages are more than 50. I have not seen that even in ZIM. It will take us 50 more years to become competitive outside ASIA and win a series in countries like ENG which you have already done.

  • Yousafahmed11 on January 17, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    @VKholi_theGreat. Which six was incredible? the WC final one or WI series final one? I like the 1st six in the last over against Eranga which went outside of the stadium. That was amazing!

  • Yousafahmed11 on January 17, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    @ VKholi_theGreat. It is hard to forgot SIXes from Dhoni to win matches and cup against SL, isn't it?

  • on January 17, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    Soow the doubts are arising even before a ball i bowled. That's pragmatic. Sorry thing is - Pitched and Bowlers from India are not upto the mark in White men Lands (Eng, aus, SA, NZL) but then for self respect cannot stinking rich BCCI spend some duh on bowling machine for preparing Its batsmen?

  • Yousafahmed11 on January 17, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    @Albert_cambell. Seems like, you have to wait for a long time dude. Let them play against my own SL or Pak to do that. You forgot that Smith, Amla etc fell cheaply against the Indians. In every series one or two players will be in form. Whats special in that? Decock continued his good form from Pak series, thats all.

  • RapidCommentsPlz on January 17, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    @albertcampbell And anoder opportunity for rohit to score 200 . take dat!! like virat and pujara made a mockery of ur bowling

  • Iceman29 on January 17, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    Another massive challenge awaits for this young Ind side..More than the batsmen I am concerned about the bowlers...If our bowlers are equally lethal then NZ would think twice in preparing greentops....We still have long way to go..Atleast the selectors are bringing in some new bowlers that will be the plus point but the million dollar question is will they get chance in the playing 11?? That entirely depends on Dhoni...Ind future bowling is in Dhoni's hands...God Bless Indian Team...

  • on January 17, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Only Eden park is rectangular-ish and used for rugby All the rest at Napier, Hamilton and Wellington are round Dhoni needs to do his research and adjust in terms of hardness of the ground where the ball comes up,the moisture the air depending on the weather which varies for which there are accurate forecastsand the shortness of the boundary which will mean nimble feet and quick reactions for his fielders in the deep All far more challenging Am writing from NZ

  • MichaelBurton on January 17, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    No doubt, if we continue to play with Dhoni as captain, we will be going to loose to NZ easily and extend our away loosing streak to 11-0 which is pretty embarassing considering our boasting of test No. 2. Even lower ranked Paks and Lankans don't have such bad away record. They even managed to beat SA at their den which is really admirable. NZ quicks such as Bould, Southee, Bracewell, Ellis, Mills will definitely run through our overhyped flat track kings. Only, Kohli and Pujara will be able to survive and everything will depend on the resistance of these 2. On the other hand, our ordinary bowlers won't be effective in NZ conditions. I was very embarassed to see our CAPTAIN giving excuses even before the series starts. This shows how our team is scared of even lower ranked teams in fast bouncy pitches. He is very good in giving excuses. Last time it was dew and this time shape of the ground. Dhoni is the worst captain ever in the cricket world. He will step down and give it to Kohli.

  • on January 17, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    NZ team has fast bowling alrounders lik geeshan,corey anderson bt indian team has lot of money nd players bt stil strugling to get one alrounder, its our system loopholes we hav to rectifie it bt Bcci does not looking in tht way.. mahi.psm

  • on January 17, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    evry time dhoni searching fr excuses nd ofter 7 yrs of captaincy still india needs improvement in fielding department nd still india not strengthen thr bowling department, still how much time u need ..? how many yrs it can take..? why dhoni seaarching fr excuses lik fielding resyrictions other teams also playing with same rules so he doesnt hav a plans.

  • Bdcricketdebator on January 17, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @fast track bully,where did u get 16-0 away test recored of srilanka,?did u forgot srilanka won against pak recently?or do u think sri is playing on home?last time sri played 16 test away ido not rembr 16.

  • on January 17, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @sllinga. have sme common sense n try understanding it. Its irony wat u call in literary device!! suggestions??? aahh sllinga always d same!!! dnt worry abt my english. its a cric site.ha ha

  • Albert_cambell on January 17, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    Its a great opportunity for NZ batsman to improve their averages. Bailey and our young player De Kock have done that in the past. Cant wait to see NZ batsman taking Indian bowlers to the cleaners.

  • SLslider on January 17, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    I think my fellow SL fans should be the last people to comment about somebody elses overseas record. Specially BLADE-RUNNER and Thilanka & TommytuckerSaffa(who is a SL fan hiding behind alias), please stop embarrassing us if you really are a proud Sri Lankan. Let alone overseas we are yet to win a single test in INDIA. And even in AUS. We barely won a Test in SA and don't forget India almost won the test series in SA last time they traveled there. And lets call a spade a spade, which team has won more different tournaments than India. They help us whenever we need it. Even after CT our board literally begged to play ODI series with us and cancelled Test series so we could come out of debt. Respect for India from SL. Peace.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 17, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    @ Albert_cambell. Wake up from your dream, it is India playing not your Pakistan team to give NZ 5-0. Pakistan lost to a lower ranked SL in the last test. You do not have any predictions for own team? @ SLslinga. You called NZ top ranked team! Because they beat you in your home itself?

  • SLslider on January 17, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    @ SLSlinga I checked some stats which where mindboggling. SL HAS NOT WON A SINGLE TEST SERIES OUTSIDE SL(FORGET ASIA) SINCE 2001/2002(If we don't include Bangladesh and ZIM). They make fun of two whitewashes India has got in last 2 years. How about the uncountable whitewashes SL has got for last 10 years. YET TO WIN A SINGLE TEST MATCH IN AUS AND IND.

  • SLslider on January 17, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    @ Blade-Runner Mahela's test averages in SA-27.87, NZ-27.71, aus-31.42, England-34.11, Bangladesh-38.12, UAE-13.37.

    Is this what you boast on and call Indian cricketers flat track bully. India has won all major trophies outside Asia but SL is yet to win a single ICC tournament outside Asia. Nobody can call you flat track bullies as well coz you get thrashed on flat tracks also. Now the fog is getting cleared and SL cricketers are looking like colombo track bullies. (CTBs)

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 17, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    @ SLslinga. " india were whitewashed by SA"? Just wonder When? which tour?LOL. "away test recored to 9-0 to 11-0" But still it is far better than SL's 16-0 away test record, isn't it?. Let them score 300 , 350 or 400, out batsmen will chase it down. Now what?

  • vipinchirackal on January 17, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    certainly it wont be a cake walk for india.newzealand Might not have a bowling line up as strong as south Africa but they also have some good bowlers like mills and southee who are certainly better than Indian bowlers. when adam milne who consistently bowl at 150 km join with them it will be troubling some batsmen like raina and rohit.in batting though india is the number one side in the world newzealand also can give some competition if ronchi sontinues his drastic form along with taylor and ryder.anyway india can except a good bowling pitch which helps pace bowling like that of south africa

  • Bdcricketdebator on January 17, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    @aviral ashoke,what on earth ur r talking about?i dont think u read my comment properly.i hope u learn english properly before commenting here in this wonderfull site.

  • on January 17, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    @slinga guess what ??? SL r d winners of 2015 WC. ha ha

  • truecric_fan on January 17, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    @Vikah-Bhutani is spot on with his prediction of 4-1 thrashing of NZ by India. NZ bowlers will struggle against dominant attack stroke play of Dhawan, Sharma, Kohli and Dhoni. India need just one game to settle in and it will be smooth sailing after that.

  • Bdcricketdebator on January 17, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    It will be interesting to see what runs indian bowlers leak.i am sure if they give away 300 in every match it will b big achivement for them.it wikl b interesting to see higher ranked nz take on lower ranked indians.

  • Vivfan on January 17, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Less than 3 days before the series even started and Dhoni is hinting excuses again, this time: Shape of the Pitch. Fascinating.

  • on January 17, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Ishant's hair is that long because he can't bear to see what the batsman is doing to his bowling.

  • Fijicricket on January 17, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    @Posted by Moazam Rashid on (January 16, 2014, 19:57 GMT) if India,s bowling (who won the Champions Trophy in England)is the most ordinary in the world, then I wonder what do call the bowlers of Pakistan that can't even bowl out Zimbabwe/SL/ Ireland/ Afghanistan?Just curious!

  • Nampally on January 17, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    @Alaistair Turner: NZ had their best team on Tour of India way back in in late 50's or early 60's under the Captaincy of Cave. They had Sutcliffe & Reid as outstanding players who could turn the game around. Even so India recorded their best opening partnership thru' P.Roy & V.Mankad by putting on 413 runs. I think both the openers got a double century. Most of the present team guys have already played IPL Cricket in India recently. I think even Vittori is missing from the side. So NZ all Pace attack has to be outstanding to survive the India onslaught. Kohli is the leading ODI batsman in the World today & Pujara is the leading test batsman in the world. India has bowlers & despite Dhoni's pessimism about the Shape of the ground, as in this article. Top 6 Indian batsmen have scored lot of runs in 2013 & they will not get out easily, green pitches or Not, So it is game ON. It is via performance India is #1 in ODI + #2 in the Test ranking. They will live up to that Ranking!

  • YoPatel on January 17, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    Look at Ishant Sharma in the picture. Every time I see Ishant I get the feeling that doesn't that long hair creates him problem? It does. Even if my hair grows 4-5 inch I get irritated.

  • vik-expert on January 17, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    Here Bangladeshi fans and NZ fans must be thinking, They lost SA ODI's so NZ have a chance. I am pretty sure looking at NZ ODI performance against WI weaker side team, Varun Aron, Shami, Ishant must be thinking, we are going take 40 wickets in this series. And about 2002-03 green pitches NZ team had decent bowlers and batsman like Shane bond and S Fleming. I saw southee, boult and wagner's toothless bowling on SA green pitches. ODI result will be India 4-1 and Test 1-0 or 2-0. My 1st ODI Indian team 1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Rohit Sharma 3. Ajinkya Rahane 4. Virat Kohli 5. Suresh Raina 6. MS Dhoni 7. & 8. R Jadeja & Stuart Binny 9. Ishant Sharma 10. Varun Aaron / Bhuvi 11. Shami Ahmad

  • on January 17, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    @All my Indian colleagues:

    1. Everyone might not have read what Hesson said (to this effect). "Give us green, bouncy & swinging wickets; we don't get any concession, when we go to India"

    See what Martin Crow said: Quote -Unquote

    "Importantly, the pitches should be green and hold moisture. This environment has been missing recently. Hadlee and Co, from the glorious past, gained assistance off the seam as well as through the air. With respect to an Indian attack that is ageing a little with Zaheer back in, local groundsmen should be watering freely, just as the ones in India remove life from their pitches.

    An example of this, which went a little too far, was the India tour here back in 2002-03. Then, results came quickly for the home team, although it happened so fast that a contest never emerged."

    Further he asks the new pace trio (Southee, Boult, & Trent) to relentlessly attack India's top inexperienced six. This is an opportunity to reverse the losing trent & reagin the ranking

  • vsroc on January 17, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on January 17,2014 Our pace bowlers will gain rich experience at New Zealand soil by giving out their best to prove their worth.

  • satchander on January 16, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    @Nandan Nadkarni - you only have a bad feeling that Aaron and Ishwar pandey will not get a look in. I am 100% certain, he will not give any chance to the newcomers. Just like Parvez Rasol was not given even during a dead rubber. That is the worst thing I hate about Dhoni. Never ever willing to try new combinations. The only excuse he gives behind that is "we need to back players" ! but backing players must be merit oriented and not a blind philosophy that one adopts !

  • satchander on January 16, 2014, 23:25 GMT

    I think India has the edge over NZ but only because NZ is a team that does not possess bowlers of the class of Steyn / Morkel. Looking forward to the series though as I think our bowlers and batsmen need as much overseas preparation on NZ / Aus pitches as possible before WC 2015.

  • on January 16, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    Would love to see a bowling attack that included Southee, Milne, McClenaghan and Boult.....awesome!

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 16, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    We are never going to win outside India as long as we have Ishant Sharma as our pace spearhead and Aswin as spin spearhead. Case in point - 1st test vs South Africa. India dominated the first 4 days, but couldn't win that match due to Ashwin and Ishant's inability to take wickets. Even Duminy - South Africa's part time spinner took 2 wickets. But our spin spearhead could not take a single wicket.

  • on January 16, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    If Shikhar Dhawan decides to throw his wicket away in the names of aggression, he should be replaced by someone who values his wickets more. Apart from the second innings of the second Test, he squandered away all opportunities on the SA tour. I hope he fulfills his massive talent and potential.

  • on January 16, 2014, 22:48 GMT

    I am an Indian fan and looking forward to watching how our bowlers fare on this Tour. Their recent performances have been, to put it kindly, embarassing. If they cannot be effective playing in NZ against NZ, they really need to question their career choices and selectors their mental abilities. The batsmen, like they showed in SA, will show some fight and let there be no doubt that it will challenging.

  • JustMyView on January 16, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    @Moazam Rashid, As you said India does not have good bowling unit.. yes it was,. India a have included two new bowlers ,. you have not seen them bowled so it is too early to say that India have ordinary attack as well do u think that NZ bowlers are very great in the world,. no one looks very impressive even with WI. I don't think that they can trouble Indian Batsmen.

  • StevieS on January 16, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster England thought they had bowlers to bowl in our conditions also. Our bowlers bowl on green wickets day in and day out. When other swing bowlers bowl here the don't know what to do, always bowl to short or spray the ball everywhere. Boult and Southee are better than any of your bowlers on a greentop and I would go as far as saying as good as any bowlers in the world.

  • on January 16, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    @Moazam Rashid. What ever makes you think NZ will prepare pitches that will suit India? Or is that your insurance policy if India doesn't flop, like you say they will?

  • on January 16, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    @Moazam Rashad. Please make up your mind. You want to say India is going to flop then you slip in a caveat to save face if India succeeds. If India succeeds you will say pitches suited them. Now why do you imagine that NZ would prepare a pitch that will assist India? No doubt you are a Pakistani fan who doesn't know much about cricket.

  • Albert_cambell on January 16, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    Corey Anderson has a great chance to break his own record. Ryder will use this opportunity to get his form back against his favourite opponent( Of course, Every batsman has India as their favourite opponent). NZ fans should not worry about Indian batsman, they can only perform on those flat highways and small grounds of bangalore and Nagpur(That too with the help of Dew). Their batsman cant put bat on ball when provided a seaming wicket against quality fast bowlers. There is alot of talk about NZ grounds are being small and flat wickets. Even if it is a flat wicket, their batsman cant win anything as there is no dew in NZ. So I predict an easy 5-0 win for NZ.

  • sheru-sher on January 16, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    Aaron, Binny, B Kumar, Zaheer, Shammi , Pandey and others look like spin bowlers compared with Ishant Sharma.I don't know why bloggers continue to bash and criticize him. Ishant is the fastest bowler that India has produced since Kapildev and Shrinath. There were a couple of others who were quick but could not pitch the ball on the wicket. I have a feeling that Ishant Sharma will prove all his critics wrong on this tour as he would be able to bowl on wickets that will give him some assistance. In the meantime India will continue to prepare flat spinning tracts in India to win matches but that will not do any good for their fast bowlers. How is it that their neighbours Pakistan could consistently produce good quick bowlers and also good spin bowlers? Rohit (Nohit) Sharma , Dhawan and Raina cannot play good fast bowling and shoul only play in India.

  • Darthy on January 16, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    I feel both the teams are preparing for some tough competition here. India has a wonderful batting line up, stroke players and Dhoni to endorse a good slogfest if needed. But that kind of is limited with IND, the bowlers usually cannot score more than 8 - 10 runs, NZ, on the other hand have all their XI capable of hitting the ball a long way if needed. Andreson is a good example of this. In the past there have so many last over finishes with NZ. The face is Ind has better batsmen and NZ have better bowlers. Hope both teams play on their strengths and this may be a very nail biting series. May the best XI win. Cannot wait for this series to start

  • on January 16, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    India will get spanked in the first match, simply because of inexperience. Bring Sehwag BACK , bat him lower down the order and add an old bat. By the way Indian openers in tests did nothing in South Africa, and they will do nothing in New Zealand. Dhoni is confident about the tests but are we confident about Dhoni's ability to play in tests. He is good for 10 to 25 before he is asked to depart... simply not good enough.

  • Rohit... on January 16, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    I always trust ishant on Green Tracks in Australia & NZ... But when I see the photo displayed above, I say to myself - How the hell did he become a bowler? He even cannot see where the ball pitched.

  • hasib9 on January 16, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    I don't want India losing to NZ and dropping down the ranking. I want them to stay at the top spot and lose to BD in the Asia Cup. That way we can climb up on that list ahead of WI.

  • on January 16, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    Newzealand batsmen must be licking their lips....they are going to face the most ordinary attack in the world on their home ground...and against a side that manages to keep opposition under 300 once in a blue moon..i wont be surprised to see 400 mark crossed twice or even thrice...anderson might break his own record..lol..this new zealand side looks settled and most of their batsmen look in good touch...their bowlers are really good too..they have express pace with deadly swing...india is surely going to have a tough time in new zealand...if new zealand prepare wickets suiting india , then india might have a chance or else if its a swinging and fast pitch...so called indian batting line up will simply be blown away..

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 16, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    If NZ prepare pitches that are green, they will be the losers. Because, India have the bowlers to exploit those conditions as well. In addition, NZ cricket won't learn anything new if they play on grass fields. When they come to India, they will be ripped, chewed and spat out by India. This is why test cricket is so predictable. The home team has way too much advantage at times. It works both ways too. Besides, India are coming from SA where they would have learnt a thing or two on facing quality bowling. NZ's bowling is anything but quality (with all respect to them). I reckon India will win this series easily. NZ will draw 1 test at least, I will give them that. The ODIs could be close but India have the better batting and with those small tiny grounds in NZ, expect high scoring games and the Indian boys to play havoc. NZ may have improved but I don't think they can upset India here.

  • on January 16, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Even my grandmother would have bowled better than Ishant Sharma, if she was given so many chances. PLEASE! We are sick of watching him! Lets give someone else a chance now! like Ishwar Pandey..or Rishi Dhawan..or even an Ashok Dinda will do!

  • sixesandfours on January 16, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    There are lots of people talking negatively as Flat track Bully Dhoni team and striking out Dhoni's team here. I am sure Dhoni will correct few flaws and well prepared. Dhoni will give opprtunities to young all-rounders Stuart Binny and R.Jadeja ahead of Off spinner Ashwin to prepare a team for coming Oversees tours and Worldcup. India Should consider their team for First ODI w/NZ - 1. Shikhar 2. Rohit 3. Virat 4. Rahane 5. Raina 6. Dhoni 7. Stuart Binny 8. Jadeja 9. BKumar 10. Shami 11. Sharma/Ishwar Pandey/Varun Aaron. Best Wishes.

  • kahvas on January 16, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    India will at least lose the first two matches. Same story, w/o any match practice. BCCI should have either kept a complete NZ or a complete SA tour. Plus Dhoni will continue with his astonishing decisions not to play Bhuvi and continue with the toothless Zaheer Khan who should be made to retire.

  • wolf777 on January 16, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    Oh, you mean facing short balls on green tops??? Sure, for some batsmen…Why would you expect NZ to come up with batting friendly or spin friendly tracks? On their home grounds they will be ill advised to prepare tracks that suit India. India will maul them in front of home crowd. They know there are few batsmen in Indian line up who are soft against short rising balls. They will try their best to exploit that weakness. On the other hand Dhoni should come out of his comfort zone of playing 6 batsmen. He should go in with 4 fast bowlers and a spinner with 5 specialist batsmen. Don't give your batsmen the comfort of the extra 6th batsman, Expect more out of top 5 batsmen. Dhoni must not be short on fast bowlers on green bouncy tracks. Should be a good contest if NZ comes up with good bowlers friendly tracks.

  • mensan on January 16, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Can NZ afford to make wickets of 2002-03? Their coach has demanded the same but as I read in newspaper, one of the offocials of NZ board has said they will make "supporting" wickets so that tests can last 5 days.

    Already we saw what happened in SA tests against India. SA was forced to make pure batting tracks to make BCCI happy. I think NZ will do the same.

  • on January 16, 2014, 17:43 GMT

    I feel one bowler who have potential to run through opposition batting line up is SHAMI, becos he got pace, which he can generate upto 150 kmph,bounce and don't forget he will bee lethal with the old ball, he is already a mastered art of reverse swing.

  • TSJ07 on January 16, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Its only the form of our bowlers and captaincy of Dhoni which is making this contest look closer than it is actually.Replace Dhoni with Kohli or someone else and you will see the difference. I am not sure why he has started with negative things like shapes of boundaries and form of bowlers more than our batting which is just too good for team like NZ(no disrespect but its true). I think time has come when selectors really have to think of Dhoni as captain in all formats and his place in test team. And ofcourse get rid of Ishant forever. He is so lucky that it wont be surprising if he takes 3-4 wkts in 1st match and then keep his place for rest of matches. BTW I would request both NZ and IND fans to keep peace here and enjoy the series meanwhile still supporting your own country like I am doing. Go India Go!

  • on January 16, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    do you think NZ will loose a game? I have money on tests we will not.....one dayers we will win...5-0 preferred. NZ is the team we have been building over the last 2 years.....this team has the potential to get us back to as high as #3 test teams like in the 80's. This team is as good if not better than those days. I have been following since 1982 and am excited with NZ Cricket again at last. At last we have some depth to draw on if there are injuries etc....welcome India

  • on January 16, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    This starts an unending debate. Cricket is probably the only sport in the world where conditions are so important and yet no rules or implementation of rules happens to ensure consistency from one site to another. India/Pak/SL prepare spinners, Aus/SA/Eng/NZ prepare seamers/bouncers. Yes, its a challenge bigger than any in any other sport and thats what makes cricket so unique. If the test schedule and rankings are setup so countries play tests in all conditions within a set period, then they should be accepted as fair. If that is true, SA is truly #1 and India is truly #2. No questioning that. If that is not the case, then India or SL cannot be tarnished as flat track bullies and instead the rankiing system needs to be fixed. Cricket fans would do well to respect the sport and enjoy some of the best talent that exists and not waste time in worthless debates over the validity of the rankings etc.

  • Indian_IndusNJ on January 16, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    well .. bad bowling is bad bowling. But India's batting is good; a little more application and we can show NZ why we are number 2. South africa is number 1 in their home turf. All these backfoot players from bouncy pitches, dont they know how to play spin/frontfoot and play the ball late ?? aah .. so incomplete

  • sergio11 on January 16, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    NZ aftr a dominating shw against a helpless WI all of a sudden became a supreme side..lol..,BAN jz demolished dem few mnths back every BAN players were making records on that series.yes indian are good at home in fact better dan any other team at there backward,no team other than ind hav won world cup in home soil,ever team had there chanc to win world cup in dere home soil ryt?? n dey hd never been tharshed at home in recent past like NZ got tharshed by IND in there backwards last time..it wil be an interesting tournmnt anyways...hope Aaron and Shami is fully fit and plays all the games...

  • bhushanB on January 16, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    May be the ground staff should name-mark the fielding positions or angles with paint :) May be a practice game might help... BTW is there one?

  • mrd1911 on January 16, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    I love the pic. Looks like an old english sheepdog.

  • vinodkd99 on January 16, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Real Funny comments from some anti India fans. Let me remind you when Indian batsmen pounded Kiwi blowers by scoring 390 in an ODI, 200 odd for no loss in 25 overs etc, there were many comments attributing Indian batting to SMALL Kiwi grounds as if they get bigger when Kiwis started batting. Anyways, I do foresee an interesting contest with 3-2 scoreline on either side in ODIs. Indian bowlers need to do better in case batting conditions are good otherwise it might be too much pressure on Kohli led Indian batting. Dhawan needs to be careful while "driving through the line". Bhuvneshwar should be great in case swing conditions are ideal. Jadeja most probably would do well as a bowler.

  • Lion83 on January 16, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    Memories of the 2002-03 season will be freshen again with good NZ seam attack on lively wickets against best flat track bullies in the world that is Indians , The result will be 4-1 NZ take my words indian fans, Keep warning

  • Blade-Runner on January 16, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    I'm pretty sure that India are gonna lose this series because of the awkward shape of NZ grounds. So, nobody can say anything bad about India, like home track champs or anything. The shape of the ground should be hold accountable for any Indian flop shows.

  • Nampally on January 16, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    India are the current World champions in the ODI Cricket. They need to play like World Champions. We get tired of hearing the same old excuses of bowling being poor & leaking out runs. If that is the case, it begs just one question: Why are the current bowlers who are leaking out runs NOT replaced with alternate ones? There are more issues than just the bowlers. It is also the field setting. Jadeja was bowling to Kallis with a slip, Gully & a silly Mid off & no one deep on the off side. Kallis was hitting over the mid off, & cutting for boundaries. Similarly Ishant bowled to Smith with no deep third man & was square cut him for 4. The field placing lapses are also costing India. The bowlers have to bowl to their field & focus more on off side. Ashwin attacking the leg stump round the wkts, does not make sense! Ishant Sharma instead of focussing on length goes for Short pitched balls & gets hammered. Steyn & Morkel attack the off side & are successful. Why not use their tactics?

  • Bdcricketdebator on January 16, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Nz needs indian bowlers more than enything to bring their reputation back .i can see indian extending their away test recored to 9-0 to 11-0!iam sure this is the biggest loosing rate in abroad by a no 2 test team in the world.

  • on January 16, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    new zealand lost to bangladesh 3 nil there coach is saying they will the oneday series. If u were that good why did nz lost to bangladesh.

  • CricketChat on January 16, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Hope Ishant cut his hair short before flying out. As is, he can't see anything in front with his long hair blocking his vision and now Dhoni wants bowlers to be aware of their bowling!

  • Al_Bundy1 on January 16, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Agree with @Pralay Adhikary - Play with Shami, Varun & Ishwar Pandey ....They could be handy in any pitches..!! Don't go with Ishant Sharma in ODI at-least...Rest Ishant - forever, if possible.

  • on January 16, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    I'd like to rate NZ chances high but they were very inconsistent against WI. Guptil looked clueless bar one innings and the bowling apart from McClenaghan hasn't stepped up at all. They need to forget about Anderson's innings, yes it's in the record books but it was a once-in-a-life freak event in a 21-over match. NZ need a few more players to find form or find India in more trouble than they are, if they want to compete in this series. Having Southee back will help. I'm more looking forward to the tests, where NZ really looking to be building something despite their poor reputations in the longer format.

  • mzm149 on January 16, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Add shape of grounds in Dhoni's list of excuses. I think he has already accepted defeated. That's why he is giving excuses.

  • lefthandopener on January 16, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Well said pralay adhikari varun, shami, pandey, binny and jaddu will be good bowling lineup dont play with ishant and ashwin and also ind should open with dhawan and rahane with r sharma at no4

  • YesKayR on January 16, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    Dhoni feels our bowlers have improved in death overs!!!!!!!!!!! He feels giving away 280 was an achievement in the 2nd ODI against SA in the recently concluded series.. apart from that we gave away 358 on a seamer's pitch in the first ODI and 301 in the 3rd ODI after SA was 28/3. Looks like Dhoni's expectations about his bowlers have gone down that he has started accepting these performances as improvements and even achievements.. God.. save our bowlers.. give them strength.. skills.. consistency and some brains..

  • imtiazjaleel on January 16, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Dhoni is mastering the art of defending himself. He always has some kind of excuse. Before it were the batsmen, who could not cope with the Swing and Bounce and now it is the turn of Bowlers - they cannot hit the deck etc etc. Everybody (even a small child) knows the strength and weakness of our team.

  • on January 16, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    New zealand grounds are a joke if one indian batsman goes beserk many records will be on line. India is dangerous team nz be careful.

  • on January 16, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    No matter where you play, in all likelihood you will not go wrong if your bowlers maintain a nice line on or just outside the off-stump. But that is easier said than done when we boast of players like Ishant!

  • on January 16, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    MS should not be sent outside india to play because he is good captain at home only. when he goes outside he play with his mouth

  • on January 16, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    plz somebody tell me wat is amp....

  • ashankar on January 16, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa Let him be hopeless. He would never mind after winning,

    1. T20 WC 2. 50 Over WC 3. Test No.1 Status

    and

    4. IPL 4. CLT20

    Oh yeah, how many captains in SA team now (Test, T20 and ODI) and for Dhoni to be hopless is better than some hopeful 'Chokers', yeah?

  • on January 16, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    Play with Mohamed Shami,Varun Aarun & Ishwar Pandey ....They could be handy in any pitches..!! Don't go with Ishant Sharma in ODI at-least...

  • Suhas427 on January 16, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    Don't be surprised if India gives whitewash to New Zealand. Team like West Indies drew the ODI series shows current form of New Zealand team. All matches will be 300+ for India with at least one 400+ total..Go India GO...

  • Aasiflone on January 16, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    I think it will be a good series for dhoni and company,little bit they need to work on bowling espically with some young guys,batting is alright,hope for a best series.

  • shrastogi on January 16, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Good analysis Dhoni. But is it going to help ? Your bowlers didnt make most of your or bowling coach's advice in one dayers in SA or in even India. It is not just test of them. It is your test as well. We need a proactive captain who can judge things fast and make things happen. For some reason or the other you in near past have become a passive captain who waits for things to happen. It is important to back players but if in every series you wait for things to happen in next series while seeing things getting haywire in terms of players you back is just not acceptable. Be a bold & proactive captain and make quick changes. If your bowling coach is not good enough tell board to get you a new one. NZ would be competitive so we need you guys at your best.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 16, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    The grounds are small and both teams have powerful hitters. Even a mis hit can go for six in some areas of the ground! Anyway, it will be a good experience for our youngsters particularly when next WC is scheduled there and India are one of the favorites for it.Funny to see some SL fans were eagerly waiting for an Indian tour to bash India! Yes, NZ batsmen can try to improve their averages. But do not cry when even Indian tail enders increases their batting averages.lol. All the best team India!

  • Bdcricketdebator on January 16, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    I think this series is gonna be very interesting and challenging for both teams.this two teams r evenly matched by their result of their recent tours.one side nz was whitewashed by BD and india were whitewashed by SA.although nz drew test series.its gonna b fun to watch.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 16, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    India better prepare for some real seaming wickets. The pitches our crooked Groundsmen cooked up in SA (Durban) are total Roads compared to what you will see in NZ.

    Dhoni is a hopeless Test Captain, especially overseas.

  • ramli on January 16, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    Adaptability is one virtue that intl bowlers should have learnt after playing league cricket in different sub-standard grounds in their early days ... also bowling to uncharacteristic batsmen should have steeled their nerves by now ... to say that they get intimidated by batsmen after reaching test level is preposterous ... are our bowlers that stupid as MSD makes out or is that they are sub-standard?

  • ooper_cut on January 16, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Thank you Shane Bond for your insight. Wow !!! Didn't know cricketers too read these articles on cricinfo and comment too.

    Coming to this series, it might be a 3-2 or 4-1 in NZ favour.

  • ramli on January 16, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    Has any NZ captain expressed difficulty placing fields in oval or round shaped grounds? Sometimes MSD can be overtly pessimistic ... does one need to say everything that comes to mind? Why not just say bowlers are working on new things, etc. (equal to doing the same thing in the end) ? That is where SG counts ... it is well known now that India thrives in ODIs just because of batsmen ... why not just say that we will chase anything or set anything unreachable ... let bowlers be freed from captain's worries

  • on January 16, 2014, 11:49 GMT

    Assertive Indian I completely agree with you, in spotting talented pacers in fact talented players dada was far ahead of Dhoni. I fail to understand why dhoni prefers medium paces like vinay kumar and praveen kumar to genuine paces who may go for runs but more importanly are wicket takers. Hence in India on flat wickets this is nullified however this thinking is exposed in faster bouncier wickets.

  • on January 16, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    @nextsana u seriously think ppl take newzealand as a cricket team seriously...the only thing u r gud at is fielding! please no one will be talking about this series if it was not being played at ur home! stop being delusional!

  • jeeva_cricket on January 16, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Lol, the caption of that picture is so fitting. Ishant Sharma looks VERY AWARE of his bowling.

  • on January 16, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    please drop Ishant Sharma.. for his own sake and the team's

  • on January 16, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    The tour is not even started and Dhoni already started working on his after match losing speeches. Instead he should work on his technique that is badly going to be exposed yet again. And play Ishwar Pandey, Varun Aron, Shami and Binny in ODI's at least.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 16, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    @ CricketFever11 Well he is still better than those captains who ask their bowlers to bowl a no ball so opposition batsman doesn't get to century. What do you think?

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 16, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    @ NextSana Is it coming from a fan of a team who has frontline bowlers who average more than 50. LOL. I think you forgot that your side has not won a single test series outside your home since 2000. That has to be the worst record ever. LOL

  • himanshu.team on January 16, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    In terms of pure performance, India should do better than how they did in South Africa. I feel that too much fuss is created about square/rectangular grounds in NZ. the wickets will be good for cricket. Indian bowlers would have learnt some lessons from South Africa, specially while playing test matches. Batsmen have proven to themselves that they can bat in such conditions against the best bowling attacks. New Zealand don't have either the best bowling nor the best batting attack in the world. There is one thing in the article that has got me pretty excited. the piece about Pandey which says 'produced several accurate yorkers'. This aspect has been severely missed in death overs and even if we have one bowlers who bowls accurate yorkers at will, I think we are in for some good times

  • RDBX on January 16, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    @DHONI48: Nope, It doesn't take out the factor of seam movement of the pitch, infect it is helpful for seam movement. Same cannot be said for swing tho'. Swing comes when they release it from hand and pitch it fuller where seam comes by hitting the deck hard.

    Hope that helps.

  • RDBX on January 16, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    I think this one is gonna be make or break for Varun Aaron, I've seen him bowling recently and he looks good, Also he can be the pace India is looking for, as far as Yadav is concerned, I agree with MSD that he gives at least one boundary ball every over but if we keep giving Ishant games after games even when he is failing to deliver then I guess we could give Yadav some games as well, at least he has the pace, bit more control and he can be someone to watch out for.

    Anyways, Best of luck to both teams and May the best one wins. (Definitely India... *Blinks*).

  • Surajrises on January 16, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    New Zealand are winning this series HANDS DOWN...

  • on January 16, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    Napier's the best road in New Zealand. Hope for a drop-in but 2 paced.

  • NextSana on January 16, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    This will be an interesting series cause both teams are evenly matched but I think since playing in the New Zealand bouncy and pacy condition with the mediocre Indian bowlers NZ are the strongest side from the two. My prediction is 3-2 series win for NZ or maybe 4-1. This will be a great opportunity for New Zealand youngsters to play against weak Indian fast bowlers and perform well to boost their average and strike rate high up and will be a confident booster for young NZ team to settle down and play against some high quality teams in future.

  • nzcricket174 on January 16, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    Napier will be a win to India. I predict New Zealand will post a mammoth total and India will chase it down with more stupidly ridiculous innings' from Rohit/Dhawan and Kohli.

  • Rafelgibt on January 16, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    Its a 4-1 ODI series victory for IND.........

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 16, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    @ Assertive-Indian I agree with you partly but we do have to realise that we comment from outside and we don't get to see the same bowlers u have mentioned in the nets, their discipline , their accuracy and what kind of form they are in. Ishant was getting thrashed everywhere but went to domestic matches and got 5 wickets in the first innings that he played. Yadav, last time I saw him in challenger trophy(List A matches) he went for more than 80 runs without any wicket. And the proof is that Rasool was hyped so much but when he played for India, he just didn't click. And in IND va AUS series everybody wanted mishra to play inplace of ashwin but they played in the same match and mishra went for more than 8 and over and ashwin bowled way better than him. So as much as we get frustrated and want to see new bowlers I still feel we can not judge who is good from our screens. Though I have high hopes for yadav, shami, bhuvi, and aaron, If they can get it right then we will have a good attack

  • tanstell87 on January 16, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    it will be better if Varun Aaron & Amit Mishra play ahead of toothless R Ashwin & Ishant Sharma

  • CricketFever11 on January 16, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Kids comment by world cup winning captain. First time this kind of excuses heard by a captain......So Indian bowlers will leak runs coz of the shape of the ground. Lol....

  • on January 16, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    India will get hammered in NZ if dhoni persists with the likes of Ishant. I have a bad feeling that Aaron and Ishwar pandey will not get a look in.

  • on January 16, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    It is going to be a very interesting series!

  • Anoop_Shaashtra on January 16, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Yes , fielding positions are a problem for sure , still basics for bowlers are same .... line , length , pace are must , apart form it our bowlers need to work on their yorkers in nets and they have to be fearless to bowl the same , it might be a low full toss but at least try for one.

  • on January 16, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    come on india...you are the best!!!

  • truecric_fan on January 16, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    The present NZ team has some talent but Indian Batting line up is way too strong. I expect all Indian Batsmen will shine on this tour.India will most likely wrap up the series with a 4-1 or 3-2 margin. NZ has best shot to win First ODI since India team will need to settle down to NZ conditions. There will be many big scores from Kohli and Team, maybe a double hundred from our IPL Bradman - Rohit Sharma.

  • Assertive-Indian on January 16, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Although Dhoni is a great ODI player and captain, same cannot be said about his performance in the test matches. He hardly scores runs when playing abroad, and his keeping is also under a lot of strain. If he were not the captain of the team, he will not be an automatic selection. He is very conservative when choosing pacers. He never supports fast bowlers like Yadav, because, according to him, Yadav serves a boundary ball every over. At least in IPL we see several fast bowlers such as Rahul Shukla, Abu Mecham, Kamran Khan (where is he now?) etc., but they are never given a chance. Only medium pace trundlers keep getting selected under Dhoni's captaincy.

  • kartcric on January 16, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Guys please help me to sort out a doubt when you comment.It is:Won't hitting the pitch hard take out the factor of seam movement.

  • kiwicricketnut on January 16, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    certainly no respite for the indian bowlers in napier, its usually a road with short boundries, im with dohni, i think the new feilding restrictions are rubbish, mind you i hate feilding restrictions all together one day cricket has nothing in it for the bowlers and now they can't get any cover on the boundry, its silly.looking foward to this series though, when one of the top four arrive it adds alot of interest, india are favorites but i think its going to be an nz series win.

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  • kiwicricketnut on January 16, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    certainly no respite for the indian bowlers in napier, its usually a road with short boundries, im with dohni, i think the new feilding restrictions are rubbish, mind you i hate feilding restrictions all together one day cricket has nothing in it for the bowlers and now they can't get any cover on the boundry, its silly.looking foward to this series though, when one of the top four arrive it adds alot of interest, india are favorites but i think its going to be an nz series win.

  • kartcric on January 16, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Guys please help me to sort out a doubt when you comment.It is:Won't hitting the pitch hard take out the factor of seam movement.

  • Assertive-Indian on January 16, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Although Dhoni is a great ODI player and captain, same cannot be said about his performance in the test matches. He hardly scores runs when playing abroad, and his keeping is also under a lot of strain. If he were not the captain of the team, he will not be an automatic selection. He is very conservative when choosing pacers. He never supports fast bowlers like Yadav, because, according to him, Yadav serves a boundary ball every over. At least in IPL we see several fast bowlers such as Rahul Shukla, Abu Mecham, Kamran Khan (where is he now?) etc., but they are never given a chance. Only medium pace trundlers keep getting selected under Dhoni's captaincy.

  • truecric_fan on January 16, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    The present NZ team has some talent but Indian Batting line up is way too strong. I expect all Indian Batsmen will shine on this tour.India will most likely wrap up the series with a 4-1 or 3-2 margin. NZ has best shot to win First ODI since India team will need to settle down to NZ conditions. There will be many big scores from Kohli and Team, maybe a double hundred from our IPL Bradman - Rohit Sharma.

  • on January 16, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    come on india...you are the best!!!

  • Anoop_Shaashtra on January 16, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Yes , fielding positions are a problem for sure , still basics for bowlers are same .... line , length , pace are must , apart form it our bowlers need to work on their yorkers in nets and they have to be fearless to bowl the same , it might be a low full toss but at least try for one.

  • on January 16, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    It is going to be a very interesting series!

  • on January 16, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    India will get hammered in NZ if dhoni persists with the likes of Ishant. I have a bad feeling that Aaron and Ishwar pandey will not get a look in.

  • CricketFever11 on January 16, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Kids comment by world cup winning captain. First time this kind of excuses heard by a captain......So Indian bowlers will leak runs coz of the shape of the ground. Lol....

  • tanstell87 on January 16, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    it will be better if Varun Aaron & Amit Mishra play ahead of toothless R Ashwin & Ishant Sharma