skipper MS Dhoni will hope for a better result in the second Test against New Zealand. Reuters
Forty runs was all that stood between India and an epic now-that-is-some-comeback victory against New Zealand in the first Test. But then 40 runs is an eternity in Test cricket, and despite a stirring comeback to at least make a game of it, India are staring at yet another series defeat away from home.
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To prevent that, they need to be zoned in right from the beginning in the second Test against New Zealand, which begins on Valentine's Day Friday at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
You can only go so long without a win away from home, and performances - both in South Africa and New Zealand - have shown this India side have the capabilities to pull a few rabbits out of the hat and post that much-needed win.
The pitch will always play a big part in the match, and it looks like being a patch of lawn with the mower brought into play, something which skipper MS Dhoni, a little intriguingly, insisted he preferred.
"I always complain when we get wickets that are on the drier side and don't assist the fast bowlers too much," Dhoni said. "That is where we struggle to some extent.
"I personally always like when we are playing outside the subcontinent, a greener wicket as it assists our fast bowlers and they can get the opposition out which means it will be testing for our batsmen but I always prefer it that way."
The last Test in Basin Reserve saw New Zealand run through West Indies, who were dismissed for 193 and 175 in their two innings, with ease to post an innings victory.
If the Kiwis manage to get the better of India in the second Test as well, it will only be the second time in their history that they have managed to win four Test matches on the bounce something that Brendon McCullum and co. will be looking forward to achieving.
Team news: New Zealand: Ross Taylor has been ruled out for the second Test, with the in-form batsman back home for the birth of his child. Tom Latham is set to slot in in the place of Taylor, with the batsman set to make his debut.
"I suppose it is a tricky one but I have to prepare myself to play and if I do get the nod, then I am ready to go and if not, then Ross will slot back in," 21-year-old Latham is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "It will be very exciting. I have always wanted to play Test cricket, to play Test cricket for New Zealand is a dream and it will be very rewarding.
With the pitch looking greener than a hill in England, there will also be another debutant in the New Zealand side with all-rounder James Neesham set to come in at the expense of spinner Ish Sodhi.
India: MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher is unlikely to make any change to the playing XI, despite suffering a loss in the first Test. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan stood up to the challenge with the bat, while the bowlers showed they are capable of running through the opposition batting order.
Expected lineups: New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner Trent Boult.
India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.
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