Kiwis not an easy opposition

Cricket News:
India has to find right answers to troublesome questions in what could be the decisive third Test, beginning at the VCA ground here on Saturday. The winner takes it all.The tenacious New Zealand will not be easy to overcome though. The Kiwis, against all odds, have displayed character in the series. They have proved hard to break and have responded to challenges.However, weather could dictate the course of the duel. It rained here again on Friday afternoon, restricting India's practice in the arena to 30 minutes.

More rain has been forecast for Saturday.The pitch — it has a tinge of grass — is expected to provide logical bounce and carry to the bowlers; this also suggests the batsmen would be able to play their strokes. As the match progresses, the surface could favour the spinners.First strikeBatting first is the right option but there could be additional help for the pacemen due to some moisture on the wicket. Even if the wicket and the square are covered, the pitch has a tendency to absorb moisture from the surrounding areas.

The side taking first strike will have to back itself to survive the first session with minimal damage.Once again significant focus will be on Sachin Tendulkar, one short of a phenomenal 50 Test centuries. The home side's batting has to guard against collapses and mini slumps. India should not expect Harbhajan Singh's forceful batting to bail it out time and again.Both Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been short of runs in recent times. Shot-selection is a critical element of batsmanship.


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