Going into the Test series against New Zealand, India's composed, technically-proficient No. 3 batsman looms as a massive figure. In a line-up replete with glittering stroke-makers, Rahul Dravid is the adhesive that binds the batting together, the rock which gives others the liberty and licence to indulge themselves, writes R Kaushik in the Deccan Herald.

Amidst a plethora of cavalrymen, the one-time general has been happy being the foot soldier, taking it upon himself to bat long periods almost inconspicuously, ungrudgingly ceding space and limelight to the headline boys, content in the knowledge that the men that matter, his team-mates, appreciate, admire and respect his efforts.

The past experience of players who have stood in the catching zone in New Zealand suggests that the frequency with which balls fly towards them is very high in these parts. A quick check of past scoresheets proves that those with butter fingers have no place to hide.Sandeep Dwivedi in the Indian Express has more.

Daniel Vettori will have spent months planning the dismissals of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Dravid and it is of utmost importance that the New Zealand captain is given the quiver he seeks. Hamish McDouall in his blog Googlies and Grass Stains takes a look at selection issues for New Zealand ahead of the Test series.

I have less truck with a captain wanting a batsman - Fleming obviously would have preferred to have Cantabrians at various times during John Bracewell's rein - but quite frankly most of a captain's control is abrogated when any side goes into bat. But bowlers? That's micro-management. Give them everybody they ask for.