Daniel Vettori eyeing long spells in India

Published: Sunday, September 28, 2003, 1:00 [IST]
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Visakhapatnam: After conquering the Sri Lankans, Daniel Vettori is ready to weave his magic around the Indian batsmen. Undaunted by the tough task of bowling against some of the world's best batsmen ahead of him, New Zealand's leading spinner says he is prepared to bowl long spells in India. "I am pretty excited and looking forward to getting a lot of overs. We know how tough the situation is going to be and how hard it will be against India. But we have talked about that and we are looking forward to getting out there," Vettori told reporters here. The bespectacled Vettori, who made his debut as New Zealand's youngest Test player in 1996-97 at the age of 18, said he was aware of the strength of the Indian batting but consistency and quality bowling could fetch him success on the tour.

"They have four of five of the best batsmen in the world and when you lump them all in one side, it is tough opposition. You just have to go out and bowl good balls and do that consistently. If we don't do that we are going to get killed," Vettori said. The 24-year old said the experience of bowling on Sri Lankan wickets during New Zealand's recent visit would help him and his team as a whole to counter the challenges on the current tour."In Sri Lanka, I played on wickets that turned a bit. We did well, we managed to win the One-day series and drew the Test series. We are taking a lot of heart from how we played over there and took some knowledge of the conditions as well that hopefully we can apply here," Vettori said.

The left-hander, who picked up 10 wickets in three Tests when Kiwis last visited India in 1999-2000, said he was aware the subcontinent tracks favoured spinners but 'the quality of batsmen' he was up against made his task difficult. "Conditions do help batting but just like anywhere, if you bowl consistently and good balls, you will pick wickets. The pressure goes on us to bowl well but if you can do that, you will have a successful tour.

But it is very tough because of the quality of the batsmen," he said. Known for his controlled flight, Vettori has come a long way since his maiden Test appearance. His tally of 142 Test wickets at 33.88 is ample testimony to his reputation as an attacking bowler while that fact that he is 60 short of a double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets show he is a rare spinner all-rounder. Vettori said he was ready to shoulder the burden of leading spinner in the side, his responsibility doubled in the absence of Shane Bond and Chris Cairns for the Test series. "It is a little more responsibility, I am probably the senior bowler in the team and the guy who has played here before.

So there is a little bit of pressure on myself and Paul Wiseman to come up with the goods, especially bowling in India," he said. Discounting the possibility of having to make major adjustments to his technique to bowl on Indian tracks, Vettori said, "For a spinner, it is very enjoyable coming over here because you know you are going to get wickets that are going to help you." A Northern Districts player in the Kiwi domestic season, Vettori said that he was looking forward to a second meeting with India's legendary left-arm spinner Bishen Singh Bedi.

"I met him during my earlier visit. It's always nice to talk to another left-arm spinner. There's not too many around in the world and especially not as good as some. It was great talking to him and get the chance to include a few of those tips." Vettori acknowledged that left arm spin has now become a dying breed. "Probably the advent of leg-spinners and the blossoming of Shane Warne and what he has done for the game is responsible for that. There are only a few of us left but I think it's the influx of the leggie and the right-arm off spinner who takes it away the other way as well that has probably taken it away from the left-armer," he added.

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