Moles Banks on Newcomers to Surprise India

Moles Banks on Newcomers to Surprise India

New Zealand coach Andy Moles is banking on the unknown faces in the team and some bounce on the pitch to destabilise India in the forthcoming series that starts Wednesday with a Twenty20 international.

Moles said New Zealand have a few surprises up their sleeves in the form of newcomers.

"We have got quite a few new faces that the Indians wouldn't have seen. (Martin) Guptill did really well in Australia, as did (Grant) Elliott. (Neil) Broom is coming on as well and improving with each game. We are a developing team and it's really exciting to be involved with the team at this moment," said Moles at a press conference.

The former Warwickshire batsman also hoped the youngsters could catch India off guard with their performance.

"It will be nice if we can catch the Indians out because they don't know too much about some of our younger players coming through. But again, we have to execute our plans and make sure we play good cricket," he said.

The 48-year-old Englishman said they have a strategy in place to counter Indian batsmen.

"They are coming here from Sri Lanka where the wickets, like in India, can be a little low. So if we get the ball to bounce a bit, they could find it hard to play here. So we need to bowl well with the new ball."

However, Moles agreed that to make things work, they would have to bowl well and in the right areas.

"But having said that, in (Gautam) Gambhir and (Virender) Sehwag they have got two of the most explosive players in the world. They are an excellent cricket team. It's all about whether we can raise our game and carry out the plans that we want to put in place. If we do that, then we believe we will be competitive," said Moles, who replaced John Bracewell as New Zealand coach.

Moles was not inclined to read too much into India's dismal away record.

"Certainly in the past, the Indian teams haven't toured too well. But I think they have put a lot of that to bed over the last couple of years. They have started to tour well. They did really well in Australia last year."

Asked whether he fancies defeating India, the New Zealand coach said, "We have got Zack Hitchcock who is our scouting man. We have got a meeting tonight which will probably run for a couple of hours. We will go through all the stuff that he has compiled about the Indians playing over the last couple of series. Obviously, we have got John Wright in our camp who is very experienced with the Indian team.

"But of course, it is alright knowing what you want to do. But then you got to put it into practise. That is what we are going to be looking at over the next couple of days, to make sure that we carry out the plans that we are going to come up with."

Moles also made it clear that the hosts would do everything to defend their reputation at home.

"From our point of view, we are really proud to play at home. We like to defend our own ground. I am really looking forward to putting the Indians under pressure whenever we can and hope to expose the weaknesses they have. It is an opportunity again for the individuals in our team to show what they can do."

He admitted the 2-2 series draw in the one-dayers against Australia would act as confidence booster for his side.

Though Australia retained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after the decider was washed out, Moles felt New Zealand players could take heart from their performance ahead of Wednesday night's opening Twenty20 match against India.

"Having gone 2-0 up in Australia, the feeling in the camp was really good. I think we probably just stood back a little bit and waited for the Australians to give us opportunities to win the game," he said.

"We have spoken about the need to make sure that we are proactive and we are going to go about looking to win games. Against the Indians, who I believe are probably the number one side in the world at the moment, we need to make sure that we are at our very best in all components of our game. We are looking forward to a really tough challenge. But at the end of it, if we play well, we will come out of it with a bit more kudos for our team."

Moles admitted they are waiting to get on with the series which will be a good indicator to where New Zealand cricket was heading.

"India are coming at a time which will be a really good test for us. It is really exciting for New Zealand cricket. I know the players and the support staff around me can't wait for the series to start because we will really start to see areas that we need to improve in and work in areas we are doing well," said Moles.

The New Zealand coach was happy with Jacob Oram's return to the national team from injury and hopes the all-rounder would be fit to bowl in the one-day series starting March 3.

Oram has returned from an Achilles injury and has been pencilled in for the Twenty20 series against India, but only as a batsman.

Moles was confident Oram would make himself count and would bowl in the one-day series.

"We are hoping that come the ODIs, he will be bowling. He is bowling in the nets. We are very wary of pushing him too early," said Moles.

With Oram in the side, the Englishman feels New Zealand's stock will improve considerably.

"Oram is one of the top all-rounders in the world, especially in the shorter from of the game. He is one of those explosive players who can win games of cricket. Any New Zealand team that has Oram playing has the capacity to win games.

"Not only when you are playing well but also when you are behind you can catch the game up with his immense hitting. We are delighted to have him back in the set-up and are really looking forward to him to show his form," said Moles.

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