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NZ need to be watched closely

india Updated: Aug 13, 2010 02:02 IST
Sourav Ganguly

After beating India handsomely in the first match of the tri-series, New Zealand will have their tails up against Sri Lanka.

The Indians had a bad day in office, and such things can happen in sport. Nothing much should be read into it.

New Zealand have come with a young team and their enthusiasm was evident. As expected, Ross Taylor was the man who stood out. He has the experience to play against Indian bowling and sub-continent conditions. He put it to work when the Kiwis were struggling after the loss of a few early wickets. Taylor's skill and Scott Styris's experience helped the team reach a total that was very competitive.

Daryl Tuffey made a good comeback after a layoff, but the bowler who caught my eye was the left-handed AJ McKay. He looked sharp and has the potential to get better. Jacob Oram also did his job well as the support bowler. With Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum due to return, the Kiwis have the makings of a side to watch out for.

Sri Lanka will definitely have the home advantage but their batting has to come good. They are dependent on their top order. Their bowling will be something that will bother the Kiwi batsmen. Taylor and Co will have to find ways to match the guile of Ajantha Mendis and Suraj Randiv.

Much has been talked about the pitch but I believe there is no devil in it. On this Dambulla track, India did beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup, batting second and that too against a much superior bowling attack.

So, the toss could be a factor but will not be the only decisive one.