As Rahul Dravid flies to New Zealand for the Test matches starting later this month,he is the one member in the Indian team to have had a great run with the bat in those conditions. He averaged 107 on the 1998 tour and was again the highest scorer in in 2002.
Just before his departure,Dravid spoke to The Indian Express about his experience in New Zealand and Indias chances this time around. Excerpts:
Are you looking forward to the series?
•Itll be an exciting series and a challenging one as well. Not only me,everybody is looking forward to it. Were are hoping to play good cricket in the next 30-40 odd days. Were confident and hope to come home with a good series this time.
Will the T20 loss have any effect?
•I dont think it will. Were a pretty good side and T20,one-dayers and Tests need different approaches. There is still plenty of cricket left on this tour.
You are the only Indian to have a decent record in New Zealand.
•I guess you could say that. In 98,I enjoyed batting there and its always a challenge to score runs abroad. You gain more confidence by scoring runs outside your country and it gives more satisfaction to a player. We didnt do well in 2002 but were confident this time. As far as my batting goes,I always enjoy challenges and the conditions in New Zealand challenge you.
From your past experience,what will be the key for India to succeed in New Zealand?
•I cant point out any one area cricket is a team game. We need to bat and ball well,we cant rely on one aspect of the game.
Over the last year,weve been playing good cricket overseas as well. We have the belief we can succeed,and thats most
How have things changed for Indian cricket since the last two New Zealand trips?
•We didnt play good cricket the last two times wed gone there. But this time weve got the kind of team that should do well. The best part is that everybody is performing and contributing to our victories.
We failed in batting before,but I believe that things will be in our favour this time. In cricket,it depends on a teams performance on that particular day. We havent won a series there in 40 years,but this is our best chance to change that.