India bank on Tendulkar for ODI boost
India are set to recall record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar as they head into a one-day series against New Zealand this week looking to bounce back from two Twenty20 defeats.Updated: Mar 02, 2009 14:06 IST
India are set to recall record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar as they head into a one-day series against New Zealand this week looking to bounce back from two Twenty20 defeats.
Tendulkar, who sat out the Twenty20 games, was brought on the tour specifically for the one-day internationals and Tests and Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is confident he will boost the tourists.
"When you're playing against him, it plays on your mind," he said of Tendulkar, who has amassed a record 16,440 runs in 422 ODIs.
"It's not just his batting and bowling, you see the amount of contributions he makes with his experience," he added.
But the home side will be be hoping they can repeat their successes against the master batsman during India's 2002-03 tour of New Zealand, when Tendulkar had a dismal run with innings of a duck, one and one.
Skipper Daniel Vettori said New Zealand had strategies in place to deal with Tendulkar but they would have to be precise.
"You can have plans for him but it has to be inch-perfect," he said.
Dhoni played down the opening losses, saying the games had given his side valuable time in the middle.
"We know everyone is in good nick and each and every one is playing his shots that he normally plays," Dhoni said.
"I feel we are batting in the right areas and hopefully the mistakes are quite easy to avoid."
And Vettori is not getting carried away with his side's two victories in the 20-over version of the game.
"I think our team will be feeling good, but in saying that, India have played some great cricket over the last year or so, so they will still be confident," Vettori said.
"They know they can bounce back from these performances (in the Twenty20s). We knew right from the start we had to play some very, very good cricket if we want to compete and beat India and that's the same mantra we will have throughout the one-day series."
New Zealand will be at full strength for the first ODI on Tuesday, with the injury-prone Jacob Oram returning to bowling duties after playing as a batsman in the Twenty20s.
"I'll look to bowl him a few overs. It definitely won't be a full spell, but even a little bit of him makes a big difference so we'll probably choose between Ian Butler and Tim Southee in terms of the final seamer," Vettori said.
Kyle Mills also returns after recovering from an Achilles problem and will be a valuable addition to an attack that was battered in the opening overs of the Twenty20s by Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina.
The right-armer, and world's third-ranked ODI bowler, has enjoyed success against India, taking 16 wickets at 27.87 in 13 matches.
Vettori said New Zealand are likely to bat first if they win the toss because the lights at McLean Park are less bright than others around the country.
India have one injury concern, with fast bowler Ishant Sharma a doubt after injuring his shoulder in the second Twenty20.