New Zealand not a tough place to tour: Dravid

The Indian team hasn't won a single series in New Zealand in the past 41 years, but Rahul Dravid says he still does not consider it a tough country to tour

updated: February 20, 2009 12:03 IST
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New Delhi:

The Indian team's Test record in New Zealand is dismal at best with not a single series win in the past 41 years, but veteran batsman Rahul Dravid says he still does not consider it a tough country to tour.

"I don't think it's particularly difficult (to play in New Zealand). I have always enjoyed touring there. Everyone is basing their assumptions on the last tour (in 2002-03), but it was probably an aberration," Dravid said referring to the 0-2 defeat the Indians suffered six years ago.

Dravid, part of only the Test team, is currently practising in Bangalore and will travel to New Zealand when the three-match Test series is played after the two Twenty20 matches and a five-match ODI series.

Recalling his Kiwi sojourn six years ago, Dravid refused to blame the hostile conditions for the team's poor show, saying that Indians simply did not play good cricket.

"We'd expect a tough time on the field, but the practice wickets were spicier than what you'd expect or want. The wickets were very good, both in Test matches and one-dayers.

The wickets were actually fantastic: good to bat on, something in them for bowlers as well," Dravid told a cricket website.

Asked about the specific reasons for India's poor record in New Zealand, Dravid said, "Maybe because we don't tour there very often - we last went there six years ago."

"We generally make a trip to England and Australia every three or four years. At least in my generation we haven't gone there enough - I have made three-four trips to every country, and there are one-day tournaments as well. So maybe that (familiarity) is the only issue when people say it's a difficult place for us to tour," Dravid said.

Dravid said he was confident of India doing well in New Zealand this time around.

"We didn't play particularly good cricket there on the last two trips. I think we have got the kind of team now that should play good cricket," he said.

"I would be a little disappointed if we didn't play well and compete there. If we do play well, we might end on the right side of the result," he added.