New Zealand looking for confidence booster before Test series

March 13th, 2009 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Auckland, March 13 (IANS) New Zealand will be looking for a confidence boosting win when they take on India in the inconsequential fifth One-day International of the series here Saturday.
Having lost the series 3-0, a win will be important for the hosts before the three-match Test series starts in Hamilton Wednesday.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori made it clear Friday, on the eve of the match, that he is not considering Saturday’s game as a lost cause and wants to go into the Test series with a win.

“This is a momentum game for us before the Tests. We don’t want to go down 4-0, we want to win a game and give our one-day side the credibility it deserves,” Vettori said.

“We’ve played well for a while now, though in this series we haven’t showed that against a team that’s been a lot better than us in most disciplines,” he said.

For Vettori problems are galore. And if he doesn’t get the team’s act right in Saturday’s ODI then there might be more trouble for him in the Test series. But for him the main task will be to stop Virender Sehwag.

Sehwag’s stormy innings in Hamilton Wednesday dashed New Zealand’s chances of drawing the one-day series despite putting up a challenging total for the visitors. In the one-day series so far, Sehwag has hit 259 runs at an average of 86.33 and New Zealand bowlers had no plan against him.

But Vettori feels that the Delhi batsman is not invincible.

“If we get it in the right areas, we can trouble him and we can stop him from scoring,” Vettori said. “We keep imploring the bowlers to make sure they hit the right areas, and if they do, then good things happen.”

New Zealand have retained the same 12 players for the game but India may give a chance to some fresh legs.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ohja along with pace bowler Irfan Pathan may get a look in while Sachin Tendulkar, who pulled a stomach muscle in Christchurch, is unlikely to play. But Tendulkar is expected to be fit for the Test series.

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