Kiwis chase history, India unruffled


NAGPUR: New Zealand will not be weighed down by history as they head into the series-deciding third and final Test against India, captain Daniel Vettori said Friday.
The Black Caps have only ever won two Tests in India, the last being a 136-run triumph in Mumbai in 1988.
With the first two matches of this series ending in draws, Vettori’s men have a rare opportunity to pull off a shock result and become the first New Zealand team to win a Test series here in eight attempts.
Vettori admitted the task at hand was far from easy as India would also be desperate to live up to their number one Test ranking, against a side languishing in eighth position. “We are expecting them to be at their best,” he said.
“They will come down hard at us. We’ve played well so far and we are happy with what he have achieved on the field.
“But our team will be viewed on the basis of this Test rather than the previous ones, so this Test is the most important for us. Vettori hoped the wicket at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur would help his bowlers more than the featherbed tracks in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.
The Nagpur ground has hosted just two Tests, the last of them in February this year when South African speedster Dale Steyn took a 10-wicket match haul to inflict a humiliating innings defeat on India.
The captain said he would not like to tinker much with the team composition but added that uncapped left-arm paceman Andy McKay could get a look-in. “It will be wrong for us to try and change things.
We are not sure about the pitch here but McKay comes into our calculations.” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni denied his team was under added pressure to force a face-saving win against the underdogs. “I don’t think there is any extra pressure on the side because we are the number one Test team,” he said.
“We don’t read too much into the rankings. If we can take care of the small things, the rankings will take care of themselves.”