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Shirin Sadikot and Rajneesh Gupta in Mumbai 13 February 2014 - 05:55pm IST

Preview: New Zealand vs India – 2nd Test

India look to end losing streak and leave NZ with a Wellington win

What

The second of the two-Test series between New Zealand and India

Where

Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand

When


Feb 14-18, 2014 (10:00 Local | 03:30 IST | 22:00 GMT)

Teams

India

Winless on the tour so far, Team India will leave no stone unturned in order to end their Kiwi sojourn on a positive note. Although the 40-run loss in the Auckland Test was heartbreaking, it should make the team believe in their ability to fight back from any given situation. Right now on the top of MS Dhoni’s wish-list would be that his bowlers repeat the performance they gave in the second innings of the first Test.

Although the venue will be different, the Indian pacers will reap the benefit of bowling a fuller length, like they did when they dismissed New Zealand for 105. On the basis of that display, Dhoni might not want to tamper with his bowling attack.

The Indian skipper, however, would like his middle-order batsmen to start scoring big runs, something that hasn’t been happening since a while.

New Zealand

In Auckland, New Zealand registered their first Test win over India since 2002 and they would like the party to last a bit longer. While Brendon McCullum would not want to alter a shred of his team that created history in the first Test, he could be forced to. His star batsman, Ross Taylor, could miss the Wellington Test due to the impending birth of his child. In that case, New Zealand will have to play the uncapped Tom Latham, who has been brought in the squad as Jesse Ryder’s replacement.

Key Players

India


It was particularly satisfying to see Shikhar Dhawan demonstrate calmness and caution during his century in the second innings in Auckland. The compulsion of hitting every ball was gone and he looked relaxed at the crease against the new ball, to which many a batsman from both sides fell prey. If Dhawan gets the Indian batting to a good start in Wellington, it could be a clincher.

New Zealand

Brendon McCullum’s double century in Auckland came at a strike-rate of 73. It shows that he didn’t only score runs but did so with an audacious authority. The Indian bowlers would have learnt by now that against an in-form McCullum in batting friendly conditions, the margin of error is all but none. In Wellington, they would do everything it takes to ensure the Kiwi skipper doesn’t linger around much longer at the crease.

Statistics

Tests at Wellington


Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

New Zealand

55

15

18

22

India

6

1

4

1

 

Pace v Spin at Wellington (last 5 Tests)


Wkts

Avg

SR

5/10

Best

Pace

109

33.44

61.81

6/1

6-23

Spin

  26

55.15

126.23

0/0

4-100

 

Average runs per wicket at Wellington (last 5 Tests)

1st inns

2nd inns

3rd inns

4th inns

49.88

25.61

35.02

48.36


Trivia

India won the first time they played here –in 1968. Thereafter they lost four in a row before the match in 2009 ended in a draw.

Out of New Zealand’s ten wins over India five have come in the second Test of the series.

MS Dhoni is 31 short of 3000 runs as captain. He will become only the second Indian captain to do so after Sunil Gavaskar.

Squads

India: M.S. Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R. Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishwar Pandey.

New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

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