Skippers of the Indian and New Zealand cricket teams on Tuesday opted to keep their cards close to their chests ahead of the first of two Twenty20 matches, which is to be played on Wednesday night at Christchurch''s AMI Stadium.
Addressing news conferences at separate venues, both Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Daniel Vettori said that neither of the two sides could be written off, as both had come off performing well against Sri Lanka and Australia recently. Both acknowledged that playing conditions could have a deciding impact on the matches to be played.
"India have come with a formidable reputation, and they''ve earned it over the last couple of years with the way they''ve played cricket," Vettori said.
"But I suppose, we enjoy playing at home, we feel a lot more comfortable here and we''ve got a pretty good record. Hopefully those things play in our favour, but we also understand this is one of our biggest challenges," he added.
"I think it comes back to our conditions, and hopefully we know those and we can perform in them. I think the wickets are going to be very good, the weather may play a small part in it, but the ability to contain the Indian top order, with the likes of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in it, is probably going to be crucial to our success," cricinfo quoted Vettori, as saying.
The Indian team, which has arrived in New Zealand barely a week ago, has been trying to make the best of whatever time they have got to train.
Dhoni said while New Zealand were a young side, their team work meant they could never be written off.
"New Zealand is known for the kind of cricket they play as a team. They don''t really depend on one individual. That''s what is good about us too. We have the kind of players who can really make you win games on their own, but we are always looking for the whole team to perform," he said.