India hopes to break Test series jinx

Published: Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 8:26 [IST]
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India hopes to break no-win jinx

Napier: Indians are hoping to break India will look to break another when the second Test begins at McLean Park in Napier on Thursday

Having claimed their first Test victory in New Zealand in 33 years in emphatic fashion in Hamilton, the visitors are poised to end a run of series defeats dating back to 1967-68.

The ultimate test of this team"s character would be a series triumph here. If the current bunch can"t achieve what Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi"s men did in 1967-68, New Zealand at home may prove a tough nut to crack for the Indians when the Sachin Tendulkars, Rahul Dravids and the Zaheer Khans are gone.

Interestingly, if India (118 points) win this Test they could possibly replace South Africa (119) at No.2 in the ICC Test rankings. Australia are comfortably perched at the top with 128 points.

Tendulkar has been on a high on this tour, scoring big hundreds in both forms of the game (163 retired hurt in the third ODI at Christchurch; 160 in the first Test at Hamilton).

Apart from Tendulkar, Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman and Gautam Gambhir too have been on song and, with Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni providing ballast to the middle order, the team looks well-poised to clinch the series at Napier itself.

Ishant Sharma lacked zing in the last game, where he tended to go astray in his search for pace. But now, the pacer has got his rhythm back.

Having experienced steep highs and abysmal lows in their campaign against India, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is desperate that his men produce something extraordinary in the second Test at Mclean Park.

Meanwhile, opening batsman Jamie How was added to the New Zealand squad for the second Test against India as injury concerns lingered over Daniel Flynn.


India (likely): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel.

New Zealand (from): Daniel Vettori, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Tim McIntosh, Brendon McCullum, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Iain "Brien, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Jamie How.

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