Mohali: After battling the heat and humidity in Ahmedabad to register a fighting draw in the first Test, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming intends to make full use of the pleasant weather and pacy track in the second and final cricket Test against India beginning in Mohali on Thursday. "The heat and humidity at Ahmedabad was taxing on our bowlers, especially pace bowlers. We are enjoying the weather here and temperature looks good.
The ground too looks fine... facilities are very good," an upbeat Fleming said. He said they had been here in 1999 and had given a tough time to the hosts in that Test match. "We hope the wicket will offer pace and bounce this time as well." But the Kiwi skipper was not ready to compare the Mohali strip to wickets back home saying "your perception of pace and bounce is different from ours.In New Zealand we try to prepare bouncy wickets". The visitors also preferred to wait before announcing the final XI and Fleming said, "we will see the surface and announce it tomorrow".
On how much of a psychological edge his team had got by managing to draw the first Test at Ahmedabad after struggling to avoid follow-on in the first innings, Fleming said, "I cannot say about psychological advantage, but sure it has given us confidence, a little bit of momentum." Fleming said it is always a challenge for a touring team to come good in the first match away from home.
"But our players adapted well to the conditions." He expressed his ignorance about his counterpart Sourav Ganguly being ruled out of the match and was not sure whether the Indian skipper's absence could prove to be blessing in disguise for his side. "This is something we have not really considered. We are concentrating on our own preparations and I am not sure whether this (Ganguly's absence) will matter," he said.
Fleming tried to laugh off the injury scare that saw him undergo a scan on Wednesday morning. "One young fast bowler was making a point. Now I am okay." Looking forward to hit form in the decider after a bad patch in the Ahmedabad Test, the Kiwi captain said, "My innings will come along sooner rather than later". Fleming also indicated that their star batsman Nathan Astle, who has been ruled out of the tri-series, would play in the second Test. "The medical experts have given him the green signal to play in the Mohali Test."