2nd Test Napier, New Zealand. Mar 26 – Mar 30.
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India will be looking to end a drought of 41 years without a Test series victory in New Zealand when the 2nd Test gets under way later today. The Indians will be looking to carry forward the momentum from their 10 wicket 1st Test victory and keep all the pressure on a Kiwi side that was comprehensively outplayed in all departments during the 4 days the Test lasted.
Daniel Vettori stopped just short of criticizing his teams 1st Test showing but did say that the New Zealand public expect to see their cricket team put up a fight. Ahead of the 2nd Test he said “They probably need to see the New Zealand team to come out and fight. The big thing about the New Zealand public is that as long as they see the New Zealand cricket side fight for a result – doesn’t matter if there is a hard-fought win or a hard-fought loss, I think they are satisfied. The performance we put together in Hamilton wasn’t consistent with that.” The bookies seem to have already dismissed their chances with 6/1 available with Ladbrokes on a Kiwi win before a ball has even being bowled.
After asking for a seamer friendly pitch – which he claims not to have received, a disappointed Vettori now looks set to play a second spinner with Jeetan Patel coming in for the average and very wayward Kyle Mills. Daniel Flynn is a slight doubt with a hand injury, if he fails to make it Jamie How is likely to take his place.
India have no such problems and look set to name an unchanged team, Munaf Patel did a good job as the 3rd seamer and after filling their boots in the 1st Test the batsmen look like they could be in for a treat on this pitch if the reports are to be believed.
New Zealand (probable) Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill, Daniell Flynn or Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder, James Franklin, Brendon McCullum (WK), Daniel Vettori (C), Jeetan Patel, Iain O’Brien, Chris Martin.
India (probable) Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni(C & WK), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel
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