On the shores of New Zealand.
Think – Sheep, greenery, Martin Crowe and the youngest nation on earth, according to www.newzealand.com- surely they cant be wrong.
India are there after about 7 years or so, when NZ had their way with India. In fact, out of the 7 test series played between the two countries, India have won only once. Which also happened to be the first time India went there.
So that’s 32 years that India have failed to notch up an away win in a series.
32 years is a long time to have waited.
Even with the likes of Tendulkar, Gangualy, Dravid, VVS, Harbajan, Kumble in their team India have flopped. And flopped badly.
But this time India knows it will be different. And while NZ are doing everything they can to put the favorites tag on them, India are merely going about the preparations and adjusting to the conditions.
Conditions that are traditionally alien to them, Conditions they usually struggle in. This is an Indian team that believes in the work ethic and one that takes a day at a time. Its the product of two men in particular, MSD and Gary Kirsten.
The Kiwis are already talking about how star struck and rich the Indian are. Mark Richardsons gone a step further and said its like playing golf with your ‘boss’. All very good until you realise this has nothing to do with the cricket that is to be played.
India posses an arsenal of talent which they will unleash on the Kiwis in a day or two. If talent alone wont win it for them they have enough self belief to start a religion with. What India did to SL in that 2020 game is still fresh on a few peoples minds, not least mine.
This Indian team is one that knows what they can do without being outwardly abrasive about it.
They are the in form team, over the last year they have won 5 out of their 12 tests. Add to that 21 out of 27 ODIs. Its a team at the peak of their powers.
On the other hand New Zealand are struggling to find consistent form, winning only 2 of their 12 matches, which includes a win against Bangladesh.
Then there is one factor that trumps it all.
I’m sure the Kiwis have all heard about it, about a month ago I saw it first hand. Under Dhoni India are an unstoppable beast at times. Its a finely tuned well drilled machine.
There are match winners throughout the line up. And Dhoni likes notching up the records under his belt.
The 32 year drought is one that will surely interest him.
Plus they have god on their side.