Wellington:Explosive New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum is hoping that the cold and blustery conditions prevailing here would work to the home side's advantage and help them to a series-levelling victory in the third Test against India starting April 3.
"If we find it cold here, no doubt they will be freezing. I am sure from their point of view they will be hoping that the wind dies down and the sun comes out. But from ours, it will be great to have them on the park when the conditions are like this. I am sure we are going to find the conditions a little bit more pleasurable than they would," said McCullum.
The talk of a seaming Basin Reserve wicket might be swirling around the city, but McCullum said he would wait to see how the track behaves.
"It is usually a pretty good surface. What the overhead conditions do over the next few days will determine whether some moisture goes into it from those or whether it remains dry and plays as flat as it is predicted. But we will just have to wait and see," he said.
The dapper wicketkeeper-batsman said New Zealand will go into this match, more positive than they were at the start of the second Test at Napier.
"We will be more confident than we were after the Hamilton Test. When you have come off a ten-wicket loss in the first Test, your confidence is really dented", he said.
"And when you respond the way we did, particularly after being three for 23 on the first day, and come back and put ourselves in a position from where we could force a result is a pretty good sign for the team. The boys are a lot more confident now than they were a week ago," McCullum said. Asked whether the failure of the top three batsmen put pressure on the middle order batsman.
"It does put pressure on the middle-order. But it is not for lack of trying. The openers are trying to do everything they can to get a start. Even if we don't get a sound start, we are still confident that we are capable of turning it around like we saw the other day with what Ross and Jess did.
"You can't be too concerned about how other people are travelling, you just try and make sure you remain confident and do your own job," he said.
He backed left-hander Tim McIntosh despite his poor display in both Tests.
"Tim's had a bit of bad luck. The last two Tests, he hasn't had the greatest of decisions. But Tim works hard and he will get his results. He still remains confident through the work he does in the nets. If he gets in during this Test match, I am sure he will score heavily for us," said McCullum.
McCullum said he was happy that Tim Southee was back in the squad.
"It is great to have him back in the environment. He is constantly laughing and joking away. I am sure if he gets a game in this Test, he will do really well," he said. McCullum felt he doesn't expect Indian batsmen to target Southee in a Test match as much as they did in the one-day series, during which he went for 105 runs in one of the matches.
"I will be surprised if they targeted the bowlers in the Test match, more so when they are 1-0 up in the series. I would imagine they wouldn't necessarily try to force it as much as they did in the one-dayers," he said.
"If they do, then it might provide some sort of opening for us as well. But from our point of view, we are just trying to make sure that we control the areas that we can control and put ourselves in a position from where we can steal back a result and walk away from the series 1-all," he added.
The left-hander said he was keen to contribute more significantly to the team's cause as a vice-captain.
"You always want to take up more responsibility. I guess being vice-captain of the side and been around for a little while as well, you have got to start performing, score heavily and make contributions that actually win us Test matches. That is what I am endeavouring to do and hopefully that will unfold in the next little while," he said.