The threat of a second successive ODI series whitewash looming large, New Zealand's star batsman Ross Taylor on Thursday said his side is in a "tough situation" against India and if the hosts continue with their dominant show, they are firm favourites to lift next year's World Cup.
"The Indian team is a young side but has experienced players in it. It is very hard to bet against them as they go in as favourites in the World Cup. Not only because it is home conditions but their experience. India has won a lot of games too. I am sure India is the team to win," Taylor said ahead of the fifth and final one-dayer of the series, which New Zealand is trailing 0-4.
"They are very talented bunch of players. I guess with the kind of population that India has got they are lucky to have come from a large pool. Virat Kohli and Praveen Kumar probably are still very inexperienced but they are very successful in their international careers," he added.
Taylor conceded that the Kiwis have been outplayed but said the visitors would look to draw confidence from the fourth ODI in which they clicked as a batting unit to notch up a 300-plus total.
"It is a tough situation. We take confidence from our last match when for the first time we really played well. We back ourselves to restrict India with the ball as well here," he said.
"In the last match, we really stood up with a batting performance by posting a 315 total but we did not field as well," he explained.
Taylor said New Zealand have also been hit badly by injuries, losing key players such as Jesse Ryder.
"In a long tour like this there are bound to be a few niggling injuries but everyone is available for this match. In the past we selected the 12 before. I guess we still have to wait and see," he said.
The Kiwis, he said, have also struggled to adapt to Indian conditions.
"Playing in New Zealand conditions is familiar to us and after this match we are playing Pakistan at home. We will continue to build on the way we are. Some of the players have got valuable experience here," he said.
"(Captain) Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum are the only guys who have played in India before. For the rest of the side, it is a learning experience. Hopefully it would help our players in the World Cup," Taylor added.
Talking about tomorrow's match, Taylor said, "The wicket looks a bit sticky now but you have another 24 hours to go for the match tomorrow."
On his own performance, Taylor said, "I could pick a few points at the end of day. I just have not gone on and completed the hundred like the Indian batsmen have. Hopefully, I will continue the starts and push on."