The first of two Four-Day matches between New Zealand A and India A gets underway tomorrow at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.
The teams will take to the field t at 10:30am in what is expected to be a fierce contest, with the two teams unable to be separated so far.
The One-Day series finished level on Sunday when the home side claimed a 65 run to make it one-all. That came on the back of an Indian win in the first game and a dramatic tie in the second.
Having improved their performance with each match that passed it’s safe to assume that New Zealand will carry the momentum into the longer format. While National Selection manager Kim Littlejohn is pleased with the direction that the side are heading in, he is wary of what will be a very determined Indian side.
“I know that for the Indian team the Four-Day game is probably their main focus and they’ll be looking to do really well,” said Littlejohn.
“I think for us it’s all about putting consistent performances together and generating some good momentum. Our guys have now had three days of good hard cricket and we’re confident in our ability to take that form into the long form game.
“Four-day cricket is a lot different and we’ve spoke at length about the need to apply pressure and the need to bowl in good channels and I think if we can execute those game plans that we’ve put in place then we’ll do well.”
A particular strength for the Kiwis has been their bowling attack, with bowlers such as Neil Wagner, Andy McKay and Trent Boult all troubling the visitors batting line-up.
They will be looking continue that good form, but know they’ll have to work hard to disrupt their opposition. After a slow start the batsmen too will be hoping to take another step forward.
“I think at the moment bowling is the area that has shone through. At time s in the second and third One-Day games we were able to show glimpses of what we are capable of with the bat, but we would like to see them become a little more consistent.” Littlejohn said.
“The Indian side are very strong. They’ve got three or four very quality batters, who can all score heavily. The two Kumar brothers, among others, bowled really well in the One-Day series so I think we’re going to have a very good contest.”
Considering the talent that’s on display, that seems to be a given.