India well-prepared to take on Kiwis: Dhoni

Published: Friday, February 20, 2009, 15:26 [IST]
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It's not about being favourites: Dhoni

Christchurch: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday said that his team does not start favourite against New Zealand although it is better prepared to handle the seaming conditions they may face during the tour.

"It's not about what is going around in the media or who is considered favourite. You start from scratch when you go out in the middle. Whatever we have been doing in the past one year we have to do again. It doesn't really change," Dhoni said after the team's arrival in New Zeland.

Dhoni said his team, which plays two Twenty20 matches, a five-ODI series followed by three Tests during the 48-day tour, will have to adapt quickly as it prepares to take on a team that is dangerous as a unit. India have not won a Test series in New Zealand for the past 41 years.

"For me the New Zealand team is more about what they are as a unit, not individuals. That's their asset. They play well as a team. They back each other. They are a competitive side. It will be a good tour if the weather doesn't spoil it," said Dhoni.

The Indians were welcomed by rain after their 27-hour, bone-weary travel from Mumbai to Christchurch, prolonged by two transit layovers at Hong Kong (four hours) and Auckland (three hours).

Dhoni said the ODI series triumph against Sri Lanka will stand the Indians in good stead, just as the Kiwis would benefit from the drawn ODI series against Australia.

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