Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
Napier: Last time India travelled to New Zealand in 2009, they played exceptionally well and won the ODI as well as Test series. On that tour batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir made special contributions with their willows throughout the series to help India clinch the series – ODIs and Test.
But on this tour of New Zealand, Indian team is without these three experienced campaigners. While Tendulkar hung his boots, the other two stalwarts from Delhi have been discarded from the team for quite some time now.
Apart from that if we leave –MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina – no other player in the ODI squad has ever been to New Zealand.
Though India have no dearth of talent in this current pool, and many of the youngsters have shown their class against the best in the business, but to acclimatise and adopt the alien conditions will be a task for the them early on.
And after coming from South Africa, where India lost both the series – Test and ODIs – to lift the morale of the team would not be so easy, especially while playing Black Caps on their home soil.
Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, India proved their mettle five years back in this part of the world. Now under the same skipper, can the comparatively young Indian team reiterate the performance, is yet to be seen.