Taylor wary of dangerous India
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor has said India's unpredictable run in the tri-series made them dangerous opponents ahead of the knock-out clash between the two sides on Wednesday. India's convincing victory against Sri Lanka came in between two heavy defeats, and Taylor was wary of their ability to bounce back from reversals.
"I think it almost makes them dangerous, they didn't play that well against us in the first game, and then they came back and played well against Sri Lanka. Obviously they didn't play as well as they would have liked to play against Sri Lanka in the last match, that makes them dangerous," Taylor said.
India's batsmen have had a forgettable time so far in the tournament, crumbling to scores of 88 and 103 in their defeats, but Taylor refused to write them off. "They are a good batting unit. They have played a lot of cricket. I am sure with their experience they will come firmer and we just need to put pressure on them," he said.
"I think every top order has struggled, not just India. We struggled at the top and Sri Lanka had their troubles as well. It [the ball] has done lot of things. I guess their batting is under pressure but I would say even we were under a bit of pressure."
New Zealand's seam attack ruthlessly exposed India's frailties outside the off stump in the opening game. Taylor said his bowlers will decide on whether to bounce India's batsmen, or pitch it up to them, depending on the state of the wicket. "I guess we would have to wait and see how the pitch is like, and see how the bounce is. I think it is a fresh wicket. And most of the wickets that we played on turned a lot more than we expected and then bounced a lot. But since our boys are tall they get a little extra bounce than most. So if it does bounce then we will have to wait and see. If it doesn't bounce to knee-height then we should pitch it up."
More than the lack of experience in his side, Taylor was concerned that his batsmen had not had a hit for 12 days leading into the game. Their last completed fixture was the defeat to Sri Lanka on August 13, and New Zealand did not bat in the rained-out encounter against the hosts, their only match in the interim period.
"Probably when we came in, we did not have a experienced side. That was part of the deal that we wanted to give other guys experience and also to come here, win and play well. Scott [Styris] and I scored runs. But we only scored runs once," Taylor said. "It is going to be 12 days since we have actually had a bat. There is going to be a little more anxiety probably [because of] the fact that we have not had a bat for 12 days than the actual game itself."
New Zealand have a minor fitness concern leading into the game, with Kane Williamson suffering a bicep niggle. Martin Guptill, who missed the last match, has recovered. "[Martin] Guptill is fit and raring to go. Kane Williamson has got a bit of bicep injury and he will be under observation," Taylor said. "He did not bowl or throw yesterday. We will have to wait and see how it goes. And if he gets through that, we will just have to wait and see on selection."