Vizag was plan 'A' and Rajkot plan 'B', says Ross

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 20:33 [IST]
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Rajkot: Exuding confidence, New Zealand cricket coach Ashley Ross said his team could adapt to any condition and was "well prepared" to take on the Indians in their own backyard.

"Kiwis have the ability to adapt to any condition and that is our big strength. Moreover, we have some fond memories of Rajkot as we had won a One-day International against the hosts scoring more than 300 odd runs during our last visit here," Ross told reporters after a practice session ahead of their second and last tour match before the Test series begins on October 8. Looking forward to the two-Test series Ross said: "The Visakhapatnam match (against Board President's XI) was the plan 'A' of our preparation.

But unfortunately the first two days were washed out and our batsmen did not get a look in. Rajkot match is our plan 'B' and we would like to get as much practice here as possible." "However, even if we don't get the much needed practice over here we are well prepared to take on India in the Test series as we have done our homework quite well. In fact, all the players are looking forward to the Ahmedabad Test. If the medium pacers can make inroads into the strong Indian batting then there is need for only one spinner. But we have high hopes on Vettori in this tour," Ross said. Ross praised the captaincy of Stephen Fleming and hailed him as one of the best captains today in world cricket.

"Fleming is an outstanding captain as he takes full advantage of planning before a big match and uses his cricket acumen to his benefit. He leads the side from the front whenever his team is fighting with its backs to the wall. And that has helped the New Zealanders to play as a team," he said. The team that arrived here on Monday got down to serious training holding two practice sessions, in the morning and evening that lasted three hours each.

The India 'A' team skippered by Mohammed Kaif also held a practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium. Sandeep Patil is the coach of the team. The tourists were also quite pleased by the hospitality of SCA. "They have made our stay in the city very comfortable. If we had known this (from beforehand) may be we would have come 10 days earlier," Ross added.

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