Vettori warns teammates of a stronger Pakistan
Pallekele: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori on Monday asked his teammates to brace up for an even stronger Pakistan side than the one they had faced at home in their recent ODI series defeat in their crucial World Cup Group A encounter here on Tuesday.
New Zealand lost a hard fought ODI series to Pakistan 2-3 just two weeks before the start of the World Cup and Vettori said that the same opponents in tomorrow`s game would be even tougher to beat in the subcontinental conditions.
"It was a pretty tightly fought series in our conditions, this is more like their conditions. They`re probably going to be an even better team than the one we came across. They are playing really well. We have to find a way to beat them," Vettori said.
"We are fortunate that we played a lot against them lately so we are pretty familiar but they are pretty familiar with us so it`s going to be a tough game but hopefully there is some confidence from the Zimbabwe game," said Vettori.
Pakistan have six points with three victories from as many matches games, while New Zealand are on four after lopsided victories over Kenya and Zimbabwe and a defeat against Australia.
New Zealand go into Tuesday`s match with a poor recent record in the subcontinent as both Bangladesh and India whitewashed them in ODI series but Vettori said it all boiled down to team work and consistency.
"We`ve not been able to put consistent team performances together. That`s pretty much where we`ve let ourselves down in the past. Hopefully there is some confidence from the Zimbabwe game. If we can bring the same performance in this game then it`s going to be huge for us in the tournament," said Vettori.
The skipper said he hoped the key batsman Ross Taylor would fire against Pakistan.
"I think your best players are the ones who win the World Cup and Ross is obviously one of our very good players. He has high expectations from himself and he wants to perform. I expect him at one stage in this tournament to win a game for us and hopefully it`s tomorrow."
The Kiwis are one of the few international sides to have played at this new stadium as six of them in the World Cup squad, including Taylor, featured in a tour match against Sri Lanka in August last and Vettori expects the strip to be a bit quicker although it would be batsman-friendly.
"I think we are expecting it to be a little bit quicker than most grounds but still it will be a batter-friendly wicket," said Vettori.