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The Wright mix? Only Kiwis can tell

After the warm-up game against India in Chennai, New Zealand must be itching to get on to the ground to set things right. Sourav Ganguly writes.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2011 00:22 IST
Sourav Ganguly

After the warm-up game against India in Chennai, New Zealand must be itching to get on to the ground to set things right. They were done in hugely at the same venue, so by the time the Kiwis play their first official World Cup game they would have got accustomed to the conditions.

New Zealand can't boast of a strong new ball attack. Infact they have lacked fire power ever since Shane Bond's exit.

The likes of Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and company tend to rely on line and length but on sub-continent wickets you need to have that extra bit with the new ball to make a mark on the opponents. Against Kenya it may not be a big factor but if they are to make a mark, the Black Caps bowling could be the biggest stumbling block.

They do have big hitters in the likes of Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Scot Styris and they will have to shoulder the bulk of responsibility for the team to put up a decent show. They would all like to spend a long time in the middle and get a good hit against Kenya to set the ball rolling.

Kenya was a surprise pack at the 2003 world cup and they had got themselves in to the last four of the tournament. In fact Kenya has had this habit of creating a few surprises for quite some time now.

They upset West Indies in the '96 World Cup, last time when the mega-event happened in the sub-continent. It is surprising to still find Steve Tikolo in the squad, a man who probably has been the biggest name in Kenyan cricket. But that also is a pointer to the fact that Kenyan cricket hasn't produced much young legs to keep the big man away.

New Zealand obviously are favourites in this game. They will need to use these games to sort out their team before the big games follow.

PMG