Despite a thumping innings victory in the first Test at Hyderabad, India captain M.S. Dhoni insisted that his team would not take New Zealand lightly in the second Test starting here on Friday.
“We are a team which respects our opponents wherever we play. We will repeat everything we did right in the first Test,” Dhoni said.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a century in Hyderabad, received a painful blow to the knee while fielding at short-leg on the fourth day. Asked about Pujara’s fitness, Dhoni replied, “Pujara is a bit sore, but the good thing is he batted and fielded today. He got a hard hit which means it will take some time to heal, but I don’t think it’s restricting him on the field. I think he will be available.”
The skipper remained non-committal on fielding three spinners, after the visitors visibly struggled against the spin duo of R. Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the first Test. “The groundsmen are still working on the wicket. We will have a final look at it before the start of the game, and then decide the best playing combination,” he said. Dhoni added this series would not be used as a trial for tougher upcoming home matches against England and Australia, saying the best possible team would feature in the eleven in Bangalore.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was posed a similar question on likely changes in the side, though unlike India, the visitors may be forced to bolster the batting after failing to reach 200 in both innings in Hyderabad.
“We gave them (playing eleven) faith in the first game, and we’re going to give them a go here as well.
“We didn’t play as well as we would have liked, but this is another opportunity to show how good we are as a team.”
Taylor spoke of a change in the mindset of his batsmen against the spinners. “We need to forget about the defeat as quickly as possible, talk amongst the group and find ways of playing Ashwin and Ojha.
“We have to be brave, courageous and try to attack, and hopefully put pressure back on them. And when we attack, there hopefully won’t be many men around the bat.
“New Zealand are normally fighters, and we’ll be trying to fight as hard as we can here, one session at a time,” Taylor said.
Keywords: India-New Zealand match