India ready to settle score with Kiwis, warns former coach

India will be better prepared to tackle conditions in New Zealand than they were on their losing tour seven years ago, former India coach John Wright said on Wednesday.

On their last tour of New Zealand in 2002, India lost both Tests inside three days on seaming wickets prepared to suit the home team bowlers, before losing the one-day series 5-2.

India will tour New Zealand from Friday for two Twenty20 internationals, five one-day matches and three Tests.

New Zealander Wright, who was India’s coach on that disastrous tour, said the Indians had improved vastly and were capable of turning the tables this time.

”The advantage India have this time is that, whatever conditions are rolled out by the hosts, they have the attack to make the most of them,” the former Kiwi opener told the website.

”They have a lot of firepower to call on and I’d imagine New Zealand will want to do just the opposite this time and ensure the pitches are pretty flat.

”India will possibly want to settle a few old scores after what happened in 2002-03,” the 54-year-old said.

Wright, who coached India from 2000 to 2005, said pace spearheads Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan were a serious threat to batsmen the world over.

”India must be very excited about his [Sharma’s] potential,” he said. ”We’ve only really seen him bowling in subcontinental or Australian conditions, where it’s pretty hard work for the pacemen.

”You’d expect once he gets to a place like New Zealand or England, where the conditions favour the seamers more, he’ll be at least as influential again. You can’t overplay his importance right now.”

Wright said what set apart the current Indian side from its predecessors was the vastly-improved bowling attack.

”That’s probably the biggest difference between the India side of today, and the combinations of previous years: the bowling,” he said.

”It now has everything — pace, swing, left-arm variation, wrist-spin and finger-spin. When I was there things were just starting to turn but now you really see the difference.

”It used to be that the most successful Indian sides were renowned for their batting. These days the batting’s still strong but India have made huge gains in terms of the bowling.

”They’ve probably got the best attack in world cricket at the moment, when you think about it.

”And the good news is that the gain hasn’t come at the expense of the batting.

”Any side with Venkatsai Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is going to run up some totals.” — Sapa-AFP

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

‘The Girl in the Yellow Jumper’ is the first Ugandan...

The Ugandan film, directed by Loukman Ali, teaches that the good thing to do is not always the right thing

Foreign aid is not ‘aiding’ the development of Nigeria

Because foreign aid is not effective in helping African countries achieve their development goals, the ‘aid sector’ needs to be reformed

The Blue Train’s great Gupta voyage – and the whistleblower...

In 2016, Prinsloo sounded the alarm about the hazardous condition of the Blue Train and free trips being offered to friends of Transnet executives, including the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma.

Provincial political jostling is in full force as the ANC...

There will be losers and winners as the provinces prepare for their elective conferences and slates are sealed. Find out who is trading.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…