The absence of left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori from New Zealand's Test squad won't have a huge effect on the outcome of the two Tests against India as he wasn't a primary wicket-taker in his team's attack, former New Zealand captain Glenn Turner has said. Vettori was ruled out of the Tests with a groin injury that he had picked up on the West Indies tour, where New Zealand lost the Tests and the limited-overs legs comprehensively. The first of the two Tests begins on Thursday in Hyderabad.
"Vettori has to bowl too many overs to take his wickets," Turner told DNA. "This is evidenced by his very high bowling strike rate of 79.6. He is very good at tying up an end, but needs wicket-takers at the other end to win games. His batting is useful, but his position in the order now appears to have settled in at No 7 or 8, positions that are less likely to make a significant difference."
Turner did not, however, feel it would be a cakewalk for India. "If the pitches take considerable turn, New Zealand will struggle. Their batsmen have still demonstrated an inability to bat for long enough periods to make big hundreds. Although India are obviously stronger, like most teams they are not immune from playing to the level of their opposition. Therefore, it would be unwise to write New Zealand off," Turner said.
Turner indicated New Zealand wouldn't be disadvantaged due to the lack of experience in their squad and the demoralising tour of the West Indies. "Experience can be overestimated when applied to both individuals and the assistance other current players are perceived to be able to pass on.
"I have little faith in the accuracy of making assumptions about collective mindsets (after the West indies tour). What I would say though, is that if individuals don't have good enough skills, they don't have genuine belief in their game, and all the positive talk is just mindless bluff."