ODI rout fires up New Zealand for India Tests

February 02, 2014 - 12:47:33 am
WELLINGTON: A fired up New Zealand yesterday turned their sights towards the upcoming two Tests against India, bursting with confidence after exceeding expectations by dominating the one-day series. 

The first Test starts in Auckland next Thursday, with New Zealand already plotting to continue the barrage of short-pitched deliveries which the Indian batsmen struggled to contend with in the ODIs. 

“Even in our wildest dreams we didn’t think we could win 4-0 against such a quality side,” coach Mike Hesson said.

“We know it’s a different format (Tests), and there’ll be a few new guys, but we’ll definitely take some confidence into the Tests.” 

The gulf between the two sides on the world rankings table may be vast but New Zealand showed it mattered little as they wrapped up the one-day series with an emphatic 87-run victory in the final match in Wellington on Friday. 

In the process India, whose best performance was to tie the third match, dropped from first to second in the rankings while New Zealand raised their standing from a modest eighth to seventh. 

It is a similar margin at Test level where India are number two with New Zealand in eighth place, but Hesson said his players proved in the ODIs that was no barrier. 

“It’s all very well having plans but you need quality players to execute them and we certainly saw that. It was as good as it gets really from a coach’s point of view,” he said.

“A number of different players stood up throughout the series at key times,” he added, singling out the imperious form of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who will reprise their roles at three and four in the Test batting line up. 

Williamson became the fourth New Zealander to score a half-century in five consecutive ODIs, while Taylor produced back-to-back centuries for only the fourth time by a New Zealander in a one-day series.  AFP