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India has best balanced Test batting line-up: Gavaskar

February 21, 2009 20:52 IST

Describing the Indian Test batting line-up as the best balanced in the world, former India opener Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday said he is very confident of the team doing well in New Zealand.

"The balance of our Test batting line-up is very good. It's the best balanced batting line-up in the whole world. The team is also very flexible and adaptable and I'm confident they would do well in New Zealand," Gavaskar said.

The former India captain was speaking to reporters after Rahul Dravid, who is part of the Test team to play the series in New Zealand, released his biography "SMG", penned by Devendra Prabhudesai at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) in Mumbai.

Gavaskar said the fact that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side would have played two Twenty20 Internationals and five-match ODI series before plunging into the more difficult Test rubber would also be a big advantage.

"They are playing Tests after the one-dayers and this would give them the chance to get used to the weather conditions. The ball will not move that much in one-dayers and the bowlers for New Zealand would also be the same. They will be better prepared for Tests," he said.

India are seeking to defeat New Zealand in a Test rubber in the latter's backyard after 41 years.

The former India Test opener also said that it is a very big plus point to have an opening combination like the team had currently in Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

"A hundred opening stand or even a stand of 50 or 60 runs is a good and important foundation. We have in Sehwag and Gambhir a very good opening combination. Then we have Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, [V V S] Laxman, Yuvraj [Singh] and [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni to follow," he said.

Gavaskar, however, said that it would be a huge challenge for Dhoni and company because of the different weather conditions in New Zealand.

"It's certainly a huge challenge for the team because the conditions are unfamiliar," said the former cricketer who was the first batsman to climb Test cricket's one-time Mount Everest -- of scoring 10,000 runs.

Gavaskar felt the current cricketers have the big advantage of utilising the internet and computers to study the rival players, however unfamiliar they are, which was not there in his time.

"The New Zealand team has quite a lot of new players. Apart from [captain] Daniel Vettori not much is known about others. But currently the internet and computer are there for the players to study the rivals unlike our times," he said.

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