The New Zealand cricketers are here on their seventh visit to play a Test Series and five One-Day Internationals. Their first tour of India was in 1955-56 season and the sixth was in 1995. In between they were here for the 1987 and 1996 World Cups and other ODIs. Currently the Kiwis' stocks are high.
The historic 2-1 Test Series triumph over England in England this summer is their latest achievement The 1999 season has been hectic for New Zealand who have played South Africa at home before going to England for the World Cup 99 followed by a four-Test series against England.
Now they are in India for a three-Test and five-ODI Series apart from three 3-day matches. New Zealand's Test-match record against India in India might not be that impressive considering the fact that they are yet to win a Series here. However the regulars would remember the magnificent display by New Zealand in 1969 under the leadership of Graham Dowling. The three-Test Series was level at 1-all before the final Test at Hyderabad.
India had won the first Test in Bombay and New Zealand clinched the Nagpur Test. In the Hyderabad Test, the Kiwis were flying high. The score read: New Zealand 181 and 175 for 8 declared drew with India 89 and 76 for 7. Rain spoiled New Zealand's chances of winning that Series. More than the rain, the mopping up operations conducted when the rain had stopped left the New Zealand skippers Graham Dowling an angry and disappointed man.
That was 30 years ago when the "super sopper" was an unknown gadget. Then again in 1988, India won the first Test in Bangalore and New Zealand bagged the second Test in Bombay. Ironically enough the third and final Test was in Hyderabad. India won by 10 wickets.
Those were the two Test Series (1969 and 88) when New Zealand came near to wearing the "giant-killer" tag. In 1995, the Kiwis previous visit; India won the first Test in Bangalore. Rain played havoc and made a mockery of the second Test (Madras) and third and final Test (Cuttack). That was the "wettest" Test Series between these two countries.