Auckland, Jan 13 :
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Monday that he was not taking New Zealand lightly in the forthcoming series of five ODIs and two Tests starting Jan 19.
Despite beating New Zealand comfortably at home in 2009, Dhoni knows that taking the Kiwis on in their own backyard will be a tough ask.
“New Zealand are a fantastic side. They’ve got good bowlers and their recent performances have been really good. And especially at home they will know the conditions better than us and for some who have not played here it will be a challenge.”
“We’re not taking New Zealand lightly, we’ll give them the respect they should get and we know their experienced players are dangerous enough to win games by themselves,” Dhoni said during a press conference here.
Dhoni hoped that the tour would be a learning experience for his younger players.
“It’s good exposure for them. The grounds here are a very different shape and it’s difficult to exactly pinpoint the fielding positions. They are quite different to where you usually place your fielders. Overall it will be a fantastic tour for all the guys,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni also said the experience will help the team prepare well for the 2015 World Cup that will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Dhoni said the pitches would suit the fast bowlers but hoped that all matches would be high-scoring encounters.
“Overall I’m quite happy with the bowlers. Again, it really depends on the conditions. But if the wicket is favouring the fast bowlers, we’ve definitely got bowlers who can make the most out of the new ball,” he said.
Dhoni defended his bowlers, who were expensive in the recent ODI series against Australia and South Africa.
The five ODIs will be held at Napier (Jan 19), Hamilton (Jan 22 and Jan 28), Auckland (Jan 25) and Wellington (Jan 31). The two Tests will be hosted by Auckland (Feb 6-10) and Wellington (Feb 14-18). (IANS)