Kiwis hope new opening pair will repeat performance in Nagpur Test

Friday, November 19, 2010

WELLINGTON - New Zealand hopes that their new opening pair of Tim McIntosh and Brendon McCullum will repeat their performance in the third Test against India, the world’s top ranked Test nation.

They will certainly not lack for confidence, with McCullum scoring 225 runs in second Test, which earned his team a draw in the second Test at Hyderabad, where McIntosh struck his second test century in the first innings.

They pieced together an opening stand of 125 in the second innings at Hyderabad where McIntosh backed up with 49, remarkably the first occasion a New Zealand opening pair had produced a century stand in 6-1/2 years.

Coach Mark Greatbatch, however, offered a note of caution, saying “you are only as good as your next innings.”

“It is important for the guys (batsmen) to share the load and we saw that at Hyderabad with Tim McIntosh and Brendon McCullum when they both went through some tough periods. They changed the strike so the other guy took over and took some of that pressure,” quoted Greatbatch, as saying.

He said it was important for people to understand the very real pressures opening batsmen operated under.

“It’s not an easy place to bat and we all need to appreciate that. It’s the new ball, fresh conditions and even though they are flat conditions over here that is the likely time that players get out, particularly if they make a mistake or their mind’s not right,” he said.

The third and final Test between New Zealand and India starts at VCA Stadium on Saturday. (ANI)

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