Moles warns India of Kiwi backlash in second Test

New Zealand coach Andy Moles warned India of a "sterner examination" even as he urged the Kiwi batsmen to take a leaf out of Sachin Tendulkar's inning

updated: March 22, 2009 07:43 IST
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New Zealand coach Andy Moles warned India of a "sterner examination" in the second Test in Napier even as he urged the Kiwi batsmen to take a leaf out of Sachin Tendulkar's innings in the first Test.

"We will practice hard and review our team, the Indians and on how we can do things better. I can promise you that Indians will face a lot sterner examination than they did in the first Test," said Moles.

India won the first Test by an emphatic 10 wickets to go 1-0 up in the three-match series and record their first win in the Antipodes since 1976.

Moles was critical of the Kiwis' performance in Hamilton but hoped for a better outing at McLean Park, Napier as the hosts try to stop India from winning a Test series in New Zealand since Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi-led side won in 1967-68.

"We know we didn't do the basics well enough. We just didn't bat long enough in pairs and didn't bowl well enough in pairs. Something we pride ourselves in is our fielding, but we were disappointed in that aspect too. We are looking forward to Napier and are keen to get a better account of ourselves," said the Englishman.

Moles expressed disappointment with his batsmen's performance in the first Test.

"Some of them got out to poor dismissals, to a combination of a little bit of pressure and fine bowling. We have got to make sure through our own diligent method that our batters bat at least two sessions and develop partnerships," Moles said.

He also urged them to follow Tendulkar's century innings in Hamilton where he was slightly edgy initially before taking the New Zealand bowlers to task.

"It is all about making sure we bat for long periods of time. Sachin showed that emphatically. In earlier parts of his innings, by his own admission, he wasn't fluent. But he got through those difficult times. As he got in, it got easier.

"There is an age-old saying that the 'longer you bat, the easier it gets'. So that is what our batters need to do," said Moles.

The 48-year-old also hoped middle-order batsman Daniel Flynn and fast bowler Iain O'Brien would be fit for the second Test. Flynn has a bruised left hand while O'Brien has a side strain.

Flynn made a gritty 67 in the second innings while lasting close to 300 minutes at the crease, something which none of the other Kiwi batsmen did.

O'Brien had bowled sharp in short spells, troubling the Indian batsmen with short-pitched deliveries. If neither of them are fit, it would further weaken the Kiwi line-up.

"We will obviously need cover for Flynn who has a bruised left hand, and O'Brien, who has got a bit of a side strain. We hope they will be all right. However, there will be one or two extra people around our preparation," said Moles.

Like captain Daniel Vettori, the coach also favoured Jacob Oram's inclusion in the squad for the second Test.

Oram was ruled out of the Hamilton Test since selectors felt he was not fit enough for the five-day game.

"Jacob Oram is a world-class player. I think he got through 15 overs in the domestic game. I am sure he will come into the picture," said Moles. However, the coach was not in favour of wholesale changes to the side.

"The players who were selected a week ago for the first Test were deemed to be the best players in the country. A week later I don't see reason for wholesale changes. We need continuity in the side. We don't need too many changes."

Talking about the pitch at Napier, Moles said, "I believe they have moved the wicket 2 to 3 feet. So it is half on the original wicket and half on the surface where the one-dayer was played. But the groundsman is confident it will be a good wicket."