New Zealand captain Ross Taylor is hoping to put India under pressure in the two-match Test series with the first one starting at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from August 23.
“It is a huge challenge to face the Indians on their home grounds. The y are a very tough side in home conditions. We need to have plans in place to counter all possible challenges,” Taylor said after the team’s first training session on arrival in India.
The Kiwi skipper was not too concerned about his team not playing any warm-up games before the Test series and reminded on their last trip to India it was the same case yet they drew two Test matches.
“We have to be careful especially with the Indian bowling attack with fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav being not only good with the new ball but with the ability to reverse swing. This canbe a major factor in these conditions,” Taylor explained to a query.
On missing injured Daniel Vettori for this Test series, Taylor confessed it is a big loss but at the same time should give the others a chance to prove their mettle. “We are ready to face the challenges and I repeat we should execute all the plans in the desired manner,” he felt.
The New Zealand captain was also conscious of the fact that the Indian batting line-up will miss two of its best players – Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman (who have now retired). “Well, they obviously can’t be replaced but the Indian team line-up. Good that we need not face them in this series. But this Indian batting line-up should be good enough to pose a major threat to any bowling attack given the exciting talent it has,” he remarked.
Referring to his own indifferent form of late, Taylor dismissed it off as a one-off phase and asserted that he was under pressure for being the captain of the team. “I don’t think my batting is affected because of captaincy as I have been maintaining a very healthy average,” he said.
On how realistic the team’s chances are in this series, Taylor refused to look too far beyond. “We have come here with some plans and hope they will come good,” he added.
New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, who took over from John Wright, felt good saying that the series against India should be a great opportunity for him. “We have got some fresh ideas and there are some changes in the team too. We are confident,” he observed.
“It is important for us to stay positive,” he said.