Tendulkar’s presence will boost India


Napier : After back-to-back defeats in the Twenty-20 internationals, India are looking up to Sachin Tendulkar to bolster their batting in the first of the five one-day internationals against New Zealand here Tuesday.

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It was India’s batting that has let them down in the shortest form of the game and the top order in particular has to come good. The batsmen have not been able to adapt to the conditions here, though they have been around for two weeks.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made light of the two losses and is confident they won’t have any adverse impact on their showing in the one-dayers.

Dhoni has a couple problems on hand, his strike bowler Ishant Sharma will not be playing here as he is injured. Then his openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who have played a crucial role in the team’s success last year, have not been able to adjust to the pitches here. Ishant’s place will be filled by either Praveen Kumar or Munaf Patel.

Tendulkar will strengthen the batting, but the question being asked is will he open. If he decided to go in with Sehwag, he will be doing without any match practice. Tendulkar has not played a game after the dubious leg before decisions in the first three games in Sri Lanka early last month.

If Tendulkar insists on opening, then at number it will be Gautam Gambhir, who is struggling get used to the pitches here.

New Zealand on the other hand are quiet confident after winning the Twenty20 series with their fast bowlers providing breakthrough and slow bowlers frustrating the Indian batsmen.

The return of Kyle Mills, who will share the new ball, will not only add teeth to the Black Caps attack but also give depth to their batting.