Confident India looking to double lead at Wellington

March 5th, 2009 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, March 5 (IANS) Brimming with confidence, India will be looking to double the lead when they face New Zealand in the second one-day international here Friday
Virender Sehwag has sounded the warning that New Zealand’s bowlers should expect more fireworks from him at the small Westpac Stadium, which is generally designed for rugby. But getting accustomed to the slow nature of the track will be a challenge for the Indian team.

The pitch posed a tough challenge for the Indian team in the first Twenty20 and Sehwag despite getting a good start failed to convert it into a big score.

The visitors will be careful but confidence is oozing out of the Indian camp as Sehwag sounded that the team can score 300 every time.

“If we are careful at the beginning, we are confident of scoring 300 every time,” Sehwag told reporters.

The last time, India visited New Zealand in 2002-03 they suffered a 5-2 one-day series loss after failing to get accustomed to the green, seaming wickets. But this time there aren’t any such dangers as the wickets have become slower with hardly any seam movement.

“This time the ball is coming on to the bat nicely, flat and hard. The last time we didn’t get this kind of wicket,” said Sehwag.

India are likely to make just one change with Ishant Sharma coming in place of Munaf Patel.

For New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori there are a few problems. His star batsman Brendon McCullum has aggravated an old thumb injury on his right hand and is unlikely to keep wicket.

Wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan is in line to make his ODI debut as middle-order batsman Neil Broom is likely to miss out.

“It’s funny with Brendon, he seems to have a lot of fitness tests and he seems to come through them all, so he’s a pretty belligerent guy and he wants to play every game possible,” he said. “I would err on the side of optimism.”

Another problem for Vettori is the ease with which India batsmen dispatched his bowlers in the opening match.

Vettori has been critical of the performance of his bowlers, who had done well against Australia and the West Indies earlier this year.

“We’re trying to find that balance between being tough on them and also realising they’ve done a pretty good job for a while now,” Vettori said. “They understand where they went wrong and how to rectify it.

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