'NZ tour will help Team India in preparing for 2015 World Cup'
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that the upcoming tour of New Zealand will be an ideal exposure trip for his young brigade as it prepares to defend the World Cup, which will be held in just over a year's time in the Trans-Tasman nations.
"As far as experience is concerned, yes the next World Cup will be in Australia and New Zealand, so most of the players will get the feel, about the wickets. When I first went to New Zealand, the fielding position was very confusing. The shape of the grounds are very unusual," Dhoni said during
his team's pre-departure press conference.
"We had to keep fine leg very deep and from a wicket keeping angle it looked like it was square leg. So it takes time to adjust. Overall, it would be a good exposure," Dhoni said.
Image: MS Dhoni
'The grounds in New Zealand are different'
He predicted an exciting series in New Zealand and said that some of the matches could be high scoring, especially with the new ICC rules.
"The grounds in New Zealand are different. In most places, there are drop-in pitches. It has been seen that the matches can be high scoring, especially with the new rule changes. When we went last time, we had played according to the old rules.
"And according to the new rules, probably some of the matches could be high scoring. But it will depend on what kind of wicket we are playing the match. If it is a flat wicket, small ground, and if there is a good partnership, the batsmen bat well, then in that scenario you can see that there could
be lot of high scoring matches," Dhoni added.
"In their team, they have lot of interesting talents, there are many new players who are doing well and it is also their home condition. So I think overall, it looks exciting. It looks like an exciting series. Let's hope for the best," he said.
Image: MS Dhoni
'We did well in West Indies, New Zealand and South Africa'
The Indian captain said the previous series in South Africa yielded a lot of positives for the team, without elaborating.
Following the twin series loss in South Africa, he refuted the general suggestion that the Indian team is lion at home and lamb abroad.
"If you see, in South Africa the last series we lost. Before that in the England and Australia series, we didn't perform that well. Apart from that, wherever we have gone, we have done well.
"We did well in West Indies, New Zealand and South Africa. This is a tagline that gets stuck to us... but for us, we like to do well as a team," he said.
Image: MS Dhoni
'Our tours have been good'
He defended the team's performance in South Africa and said they played poorly and paid the price for it in the second Test at Durban.
"In fact, if you look at the South Africa series also, we played well in the Test series. We lost the second Test because of the two to two half hour session, we played really bad cricket, because of which, we were on the receiving end.
"Apart from that, our tours have been good. But we are seeing that because of the last series we played in England and Australia," he said.
Image: Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni
'You will have to start valuing your heritage'
The Indian skipper also pointed out when the teams from outside the subcontinent lose matches here, they don't get the tag.
He also stressed on the importance of valuing home conditions and said that it is important to hold fort in the home conditions.
"World over what we have seen is it is important to hold fort in your home conditions, and at the same time trying to do well outside as well. You will have to start valuing your heritage.
"When teams from outside the sub-continent lose, they don't start making turning tracks," he said.
Image: MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher