It has been 41 years since Indian team manage to win a test series in New Zealand and it will be good opportunity for the Indians when they will take on New Zealand at Basin Reserve, Wellington to create a history and register their 100th win in test matches.
They have already lost the opportunity by some poor display during the first three days of play at Napier however due to some remarkable batting display on last two days of test match they manage to save the match as well as keep the hopes alive of winning the series in New Zealand.
New Zealand bounced back tremendously at Napier after receiving defeat at Hamilton. They manage to score more than 600 runs in their first inning and their bowlers put great show that allow New Zealand to enforce the follow-on. But it was great determination and application of Indian batsman that save the game which was looking unlikely on the eve of third days play.
Indian team is flying high on confidence after their series-saving effort at Napier. However lot will depend on whether Dhoni a lucky man will take part at Wellington or not. We have already seen at Napier, India lacked their edge in the field and his replacement Virender Sehwag appeared bereft of ideas and inspiration when Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum were plundering runs. Dinesh karthik also looked vulnerable behind the wicket.
It will also be interesting to see how Basin Reserve wickets behave in the early morning on day 1. If New Zealand wins the toss, Vettori already indicated that his team would like to bowl first and try to bowl out India cheaply to take firm control in the test match.
Indian bowlers after resting for two continuous days at Napier they will be also feeling fresh so Indian team will be also thinking in same way as New Zealand skipper.
Watch out for
Virender Sehwag: So far so good was the slogan in the one day internationals but some how he manage to get himself out on all three occasions in the two test matches. Due to his aggressive nature he was not able to control his emotion and throw his wickets away to the spinners. However he is too good player to comeback strong and makes a statement for himself. If he is able to control his aggression with some caution then we might witness a big inning from him at Basin reserve.
J.Ryder: This man performed exceptionally well throughout the one day series and now he is delivering more than what his team expect from him both with bat as well as with the ball whenever required. He has already scored two back to back centuries in the series and there will be no surprise if he goes for the third successive century at Basin Reserve. He made 102 in Hamilton, 201 in Napier and his presence in the middle-order has bolstered a batting line-up that has a brittle top. So it will be interesting to see how he approaches into the vital test match at Wellington.
Pitch and conditions
New Zealand skipper already shown unhappiness about the pitch since he wanted a pitch that would assist his fast bowlers to allow his team to level the series against Indians. However grounds man prepared a brown, hard and dry surface which will be good for batting. However due to open area in the ground the win will some how support the fast bowlers and provide some swing and seam of the wicket. Most probably any team who won the toss would like to bowl first because of windy condition in the morning.
The weather looks fine and is expected to be sunny day for cricket on the first day of test match. However on weekends we may witness windy condition in Wellington.
Stats & Trivia
New Zealand have played 48 test matches here and manage to won 14 and lost 16 while other 18 matches ended in a draw.
On the other hand India have played five test matches and manage to won just one game and on other four occasions they have to face defeat.
Since 2002, at Wellington fast bowlers manage to pick 254 wickets while spinners manage to grab just 55 wickets.
K.Mills is the most successful bowlers at this venue picking up 15 wickets at an average of 23.93.
M.S.Dhoni is still not decided whether he will play in third test match or not. If he will play then D.Karthik have to sit out otherwise India is likely to go into this match with same playing eleven.
D.Flynn is still to recover from his thumb injury, so he might have to sit out again that means J.How will get another chance to show his class and temperament during third test match at Wellington. The big headaches for New Zealand skipper is to whether to go with two spinners or with three pace attacks, after seeing the pitch he was really upset and even passed comment about the wicket saying "I've never seen a Basin wicket like this in my life so I'll say it's not [a typical Basin Reserve wicket], but that isn't to say it's not a good Test-match wicket," Vettori said. "We'll have to wait and see because I haven't seen a Basin wicket as brown as this, or as dry or as hard as this, before. You normally expect the Basin wicket to have a bit in it before it settles down. Days two and three are pretty good batting days and then there's some inconsistent bounce later on".
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at 03:30 AM India Time and will be Played from 3rd – 7th April)
India Squad: G.Gambhir, V.Sehwag, R.Dravid, S.Tendulkar, V.V.S Laxman, Y.Singh, M.S.Dhoni (Captain & WK), H.Singh, Z.Khan, I.Sharma, M.Patel.
New Zealand Squad: Tim McIntosh, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, James Franklin, Brendon McCullum (WK), Daniel Vettori (Captain), Kyle Mills, Chris Martin, Iain O'Brien.