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Kiwis’ confidence up in absence of Dravid, Laxman


Hyderabad: New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said the confidence of his team has gone up in the absence of experienced Indian batsmen Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman, who have retired from international cricket.

Talking to reporters Wednesday ahead of the first Test starting here Thursday, Taylor said his team would try to put pressure on whoever replaces the two batsmen.

“I won’t say it is going to be easy but the confidence of the group goes up not having to get Rahul and Laxman who were quality players but it gives an opportunity for youngsters,” he said.

The Black Caps captain said his team would approach the series being as positive as possible but admitted that it would have to improve the performance and play well than they did in the West Indies.

“We didn’t play as well as we should have been in the West Indies. This is a new era of New Zealand cricket under coach Mike Hesson,” he said, hoping that the series would be a turnaround for them.

Describing India as a tough opposition, Taylor said his team was capable of delivering the match-winning performances.

He said Hesson was great for the group and brought new energy. “Any new coach will have different philosophies and theories. The team is responding well.”

Asked about the plans to check Sachin Tendulkar, the Kiwis skipper said the team had plans for all. “Sachin is a world-class player but we have lot of other players to watch out for. We will not be focusing only on one individual.”

On the absence of Daniel Vettori, he said New Zealand would miss his experience but felt it gives an opportunity to others to have a go.

“Daniel played most tests for New Zealand you can never replace that but it gives an opportunity to others and hopefully in these cloudy conditions in which we are expecting swing and swung, they will come good.”