They do not have encouraging results to show coming into the Test series against India but New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin is hoping that they will be able do well against the formidable hosts.
New Zealand were routed by the West Indies before coming to India in all three formats of the game but Franklin says with a few changes in the team and support staff, his side hopes to make a fresh beginning.
"We are coming from a tough tour of West Indies. But it's always a new beginning with a new coach (Mike Hesson) and a couple of new faces in the squad. I think the guys are looking forward to take on a strong Indian side in Indian conditions," Franklin said.
The all-rounder said his side has talented players and they are targeting to wrest the initiative by doing well on day one of the Test matches.
"Overall we have got talent in the side and we will work out with our strategies to come up and play well against India. The idea is compete session by session and we will take it day-by-day, but the first and foremost thing is to play well on Day one," he said.
Franklin said each individual in his side has his own plan apart from the team plan to follow.
"We also have the talent which needs to be transformed into application in the middle. Each individual will be backing his game plan and obviously you have got the overall team plan and in the coming days we have to train hard and work out our strategies and hopefully our plans come good."
The first Test will begin on August 23 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.
Franklin, a left-handed batsman and seam bowler, said "For me...I am trying to contribute in any form of game by scoring runs or taking wickets."
Asked if he was better accustomed to conditions after playing in the IPL, Franklin, who plays for Mumbai Indians, nodded but said past performances won't count much.
"I spent quite a bit of time playing in India in the last couple of years in the IPL and Champions League. Obviously it helps playing these games, but at the end of the day it is what you do in the middle on that day. If you get out for nothing or don't take wickets and get hit around the park it will transform into little," the 31-year-old observed.
Asked on Laxman's replacement, S Badrinath, a CSK player in the IPL, Franklin said, "He looks good...hopefully he does not score too many runs against us."
Photograph: Anthony Phelps/Reuters