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Missing the swing

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It is surprising, and indeed, disappointing, to see New Zealand serve up a relatively flat wicket rather than one that resembled John Travolta having a good time at a party.

It is obvious that New Zealand's best chance to win is on seaming wickets. True, India have a strong bowling line up that can bring them down to 60 for 6, but that is the only way New Zealand can get 20 Indian wickets.

But it is, in fact, as important for the Indian batsmen, and by extension, the Indian team, to play on seaming wickets as it is for the Kiwis. For the Indians to come closer to the No.1 spot they will have to prove that they have buried all the chief ghosts that haunted the team in the past. Some they have - the team now has a steady set of openers, it has a good, lethal bowling attack. But many of the claims stand on ice that isn't very thick in that most of their recent successes have come at home - they have had little chance to do anything in conditions that they have traditionally been worst in.

Playing New Zealand in New Zealand on seaming wickets is the best opportunity the team has to put all doubts to rest and show that the upward mobility is likely to last. It presents most of India's regular waterloos - Tests abroad, swinging conditions, matches that need discipline and application more than flash, even though the opposition isn't the strongest.

Beating the current Kiwi team on flat wickets is good, but means little outside of the record books. Beating New Zealand on seaming wickets, on the other hand, will be a definite sign that the old bogeys are almost certainly being put to rest.


(Click here to know more about Sreeram)



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