Kiwis eyeing to unsettle Laxman, Dravid-less India batting
Hyderabad: New Zealand captain Ross Taylor on Wednesday said the tourists were beaming with confidence in the wake of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid`s retirement and are eyeing to unsettle India`s batting line up with an element of surprise in the two-Test series, starting here from Thursday.
While admitting that India would be a tough nut to crack at home, Taylor said it would not be easy for the hosts to overcome the double loss of Dravid and Laxman.
"I won`t say it is going to be easy (for New Zealand) but the confidence of the team goes up when you don`t have quality players like Rahul and Laxman (in the opposition team)," the Kiwi skipper said on the eve of the first Test which begins here on Thursday.
"That gives an opportunity to youngsters. But whoever India decide to go with, we will be attacking them. We will try and put them under as much pressure as possible," Taylor said.
"I am not sure about our batsmen but it will be a bit of a surprise (for India) to see some of our bowlers," he added.
He admitted that New Zealand will have to play out of their skin to beat India at the own backyard, which has never happened before.
"Playing India in India is always tough. Something that New Zealand team have always thrive on is playing out of our comfort zone," Taylor said.
Still smarting over the 0-2 series defeat at the hands of the West Indies, Taylor is eyeing a much-improved performance his side against India.
"But we know we have to play and perform a lot better than we did in the West Indies. We are looking to the series (against India) as positive as possible. We did not play as well as we should have in the West Indies. We had great expectations in the West Indies, but we didn`t play to our potential," he said.
"This is a new era of New Zealand cricket under (coach Mike) Hesson. There is a nice buzz going around the team as well," Taylor said.
"Mike has been great for the group. He has brought in a new energy. Any new coach is going to have different philosophies and theories and the team is responding well to those at the moment."
Having played mystery spinner Sunil Narine in the West Indies, the Kiwi batsmen are confident of tackling Indian offie Ravichandran Ashwin in the upcoming series.
"We just spent a month playing Narine and I think they are very similar bowlers. But he (Ashwin) is obviously a very key bowling weapon for the Indian team. We have got plans in place for him. We need to combat him, need to score off him and deny him wickets," Taylor said.
Hinting that New Zealand will field a three-seam and one spin attack in the first Test, Taylor said the team will miss the services of veteran Daniel Vettori, their highest wicket taker in the last tour to India, on the spin-friendly sub-continent pitches.
"We won`t be playing four seamers. We will be playing at least one spinner. (allrounder James) Franklin gives us a good balance batting at six," he said.
"We will miss his (Vettori`s) experience but it gives a chance to Tarun (Nethula) or Jeetan (Patel) to have a go and hopefully with these conditions they should do well," Taylor said.