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India will have to be positive and play for the win

cricket Updated: Apr 02, 2009 00:56 IST
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By Indian standards, it's been freezing cold in Wellington and obviously that'll be a fresh challenge for the Indians. Out from the closet are woollens, caps and beanies and a chilling thought that all the good work in the tour could be undone at this venue. Basin Reserve Park is quintessential New Zealand - windy, chilly and a pitch that produces more results than draws. India have a battle on hand.

It's fair to say that Indians haven't countered such conditions on the tour so far. They have played in Wellington but the shorter formats of the game were in the Westpac Stadium. Basin Reserve is New Zealand's fort and the whistling winds are its biggest ally. Winds so strong that a bowler finds it tough to run up the hill, keep his legs steady and still bowl at a pace, line and length which is to his liking, will make life difficult for the Indian pacers.

The wind will also make the batsmen unsteady in their stance. Fielders too take time to adjust and swirling hits can make you go round in circles.

India have to come out positively and not play to protect their 2-1 lead because that could be inviting trouble. They are the stronger and more experienced side and therefore must come out looking to win.

India still have concerns over Mahindra Singh Dhoni. I think it is safe to say that if there is the smallest chance of him playing, Dhoni is absolutely vital to the team's direction and purpose, as well as the solidity he brings in front and behind the stumps. NZ will make a change in their bowling department. Tim Southee has been impressive in domestic ties and besides, Kiwis need fresh legs after the time they spent at Napier.