Daniel Vettori, in his first press conference of the series, singled out Delhi Daredevils teammates Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir as the biggest threats in the coming matches but hoped that a familiarity with home conditions would level the playing field. “It comes back to our conditions, and hopefully we know those and we can perform in them,” said Vettori. “The wickets are going to be very good, the weather may play a small part in it. But the ability to contain the Indian top-order with the likes of Sehwag and Gambhir in it is probably going to be crucial to our success.
“Sehwag creates a momentum at the top and is such an aggressive player that he can take the game away quickly,” Vettori added. “A lot of our emphasis is on him and probably Gambhir with their opening partnership. If we can put some pressure on India early, then maybe it gives us a chance, but when these guys get away, it’s always hard to pull them back in.”
Vettori accepted that there was a bit of added pressure on his team as they were expected to do well in home conditions. “Last year, even though England were nearly at the top of world cricket, there was still the expectation that the New Zealand team should know these conditions and should understand how to play a lot better than the opposition. The Indians not touring that well last time puts more pressure on us. “But I look at it as one of the better challenges. You look at their batting line-up and you look at their statistics you sit back in awe.
“They’ve got a pretty impressive seam attack and one of the best spinners in the world in Harbhajan Singh. For us and for me, it’s a test to be on top of our game.”