26 Mar 2009

Black Caps need to bat time in second test

7:18 am on 26 March 2009

Batting time will be key to New Zealand levelling their test cricket series against India on a McLean Park pitch in Napier that is likely to produce plenty of runs when the second test begins this morning.

New Zealand were thrashed by 10 wickets within four days in the first test in Hamilton and must at least secure a draw to stop the tourists from claiming their first series win in New Zealand since 1968, before next week's final test in Wellington.

The hosts were bowled out for 279 twice at Seddon Park, lasting less than a day in their first innings and just over three sessions in their second, while India's powerful batting lineup ground out 520 in 152.4 overs in their first innings.

Vettori says they need to bat at least 120 overs so that his bowlers can get a rest and then mount a challange.

Vettori says he and coach Andy Moles are "leaning" towards including off-spinner Jeetan Patel to partner him in a twin-spin attack with an out-of-form Kyle Mills the most likely to drop out of the playing eleven.

The wicket at Napier is not likely to have any substantial grass on it after a late decision was made by groundsman Phil Stoyanoff to move it to another part of the wicket block.

New Zealand batsman Daniel Flynn is to undergo a late fitness test after being struck in the hand during the first test, with Jamie How joining the team in Napier and likely to slot in if Flynn is ruled out before the toss.

India retain the side team that won in Hamilton.