India captain Dhoni rules out complacency
BANGALORE: India have vowed no let-up as they target a clean sweep in the series against New Zealand with a win in the second and final Test starting on Friday, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said.
The hosts put in a strong all-round performance to win the opening Test by an innings and 115 runs with a day to spare in Hyderabad on Sunday.
“We don’t have to be overconfident. We are a side which respects the opposition,” the Indian captain told reporters on the eve of the match in Bangalore.
“Whatever right we did in the first Test we have to repeat everything. We have to try and stick to the basics and keep it simple. We don’t want to complicate too much.”
The Indian batsmen were not tested by New Zealand’s attack in the last match as they posted a huge 438 in their only innings, but Dhoni said the conditions in Bangalore would be different.
“I think they (New Zealand) are a good bowling side, especially on this kind of wicket and overcast conditions. They will come up with good bowling plans and execute their plans well,” he said.
“Hyderabad was a bit different as there was not much for the fast bowlers, but still they got wickets.”
Cheteshwar Pujara was the batting hero in the Hyderabad match, India’s first after the retirement of veterans Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, as he cracked a solid 159 for a maiden Test century in only his fourth match.
The Indian bowlers then struck it rich, with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin taking 12 wickets and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha six as New Zealand collapsed to 159 in the first innings and 164 in the second.
“Of course in the last match the spinners got a lot of wickets, but they had to work hard. Ashwin bowled brilliantly and Ojha had to keep it tight,” said Dhoni.
“I personally feel if we can get a bit more spin and a bit more bounce for the spinners it will be really good.”
New Zealand will hope for a much-improved performance from their batsmen against spin if they are to avoid a second successive Test series defeat. They lost both Tests in the West Indies before this tour.
Only Kane Williamson (52) and opener Brendon McCullum (42) offered any resistance in the second innings at Hyderabad.
“It’s never easy when you lose a Test by over an innings. We need to forget about it as quickly as possible and find ways of playing Ashwin and Ojha,” said New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor.
“We have to be brave and courageous and attack them and hopefully put pressure back on them.”
Taylor said his team would try their best to test India.
“We are a young side and are learning both on and off the field. New Zealand are normally fighters and we’ll be trying to fight as hard as we can,” he said.
“Obviously, we’re still in the series. We have not won many Tests in India and we need to be brave and courageous in the way we go in this Test.”
New Zealand have won just two of their 30 Tests in India, lost 12 and drawn 16.