18 Mar 2009

India chase rare series win in New Zealand

6:17 am on 18 March 2009

New Zealand Cricket claimed an early victory ahead of the opening test against India when they kicked out a proposal to delay the start of the match by an hour, but it remains to be seen whether they will have similar success on the field.

Indian broadcasters had lodged a last-minute request to change the starting time for the opening test, which begins at Seddon Park in Hamilton this morning , in the hope of attracting more television viewers at home.

However, New Zealand cricket officials dismissed the request and the match will start at 11o'clock as scheduled.

India easily won the one-day series 3-1, with the Wellington match completely washed out, and while everything points to a win for the visitors, the record books suggest otherwise.

India has not won a test series in New Zealand since 1968 and has not won a single test here since 1976.

However, the current Indian team holds a huge advantage in terms of quality and experience and will go into the first test at full strength with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman all passed fit.