NZ tour will help in preparing for 2015 World Cup: Dhoni

NZ tour will help in preparing for 2015 World Cup: Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that the upcoming tour of New Zealand will be an ideal exposure trip for his young brigade as it prepares to defend the World Cup, which will be held in just over a year's time in the Trans-Tasman nations.

"As far as experience is concerned, yes the next World Cup will be in Australia and New Zealand, so most of the players will get the feel, about the wickets. When I first went to New Zealand, the fielding position was very confusing. The shape of the grounds are very unusual," Dhoni said during his team's pre-departure press conference.

"We had to keep fine leg very deep and from a wicket keeping angle it looked like it was square leg. So it takes time to adjust. Overall, it would be a good exposure," Dhoni said at the pre-departure conference here today.

He predicted an exciting series in New Zealand and said that some of the matches could be high scoring, especially with the new ICC rules.

"The grounds in New Zealand are different. In most places, there are drop-in pitches. It has been seen that the matches can be high scoring, especially with the new rule changes. When we went last time, we had played according to the old rules.

"And according to the new rules, probably some of the matches could be high scoring. But it will depend on what kind of wicket we are playing the match. If it is a flat wicket, small ground, and if there is a good partnership, the batsmen bat well, then in that scenario you can see that there could be lot of high scoring matches," Dhoni added.

"In their team, they have lot of interesting talents, there are many new players who are doing well and it is also their home condition. So I think overall, it looks exciting. It looks like an exciting series. Let's hope for the best," he said.

The Indian captain said the previous series in South Africa yielded a lot of positives for the team, without elaborating.

Among the bowlers, pacers Vinay, Abhimanyu Mithun and HS Sharath have been among wickets so far and would like to continue the good work.

Right-arm medium pacer Ronit More would also come into the match with his tails up with seven-wicket and four-wicket hauls against Haryana and Delhi, respectively. Appanna also have been among wickets.

UP also face the same liabilities as hosts as they will miss the services of their captain Suresh Raina and leggie Amit Mishra, for they are the part of India's ODI squad for NZ tour.

UP, who were placed second in Group B with two outright victories in the league stage, will hope to play with a positive frame of mind, especially having under performed in the tournament so far.

The visitors started the season by beating Baroda and then thumping Services by an innings and 14 runs.

Prashant Gupta, wicketkeeper-batsman Ekalavya Dwivedi and Parvinder Singh, have been among runs, but in bits and pieces. This may, however, propel them to give more to make UP proud by collectively putting up a good score.

A tall left-handed UP opening batsman Tanmay Srivastava, who had turned quite a few heads with his competent batting in U-19 cricket, would hope to continue the form, which he showed against Railways by cracking 103.

R P Singh and Imtiyaz Ahmed will lead the pace attack, while Piyush Chawla, Pravin Gupta and Ali Murtaza are the three spinners.

Teams (from):

Karnataka: R Vinay Kumar (capt), CM Gautam (wk), Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, R Samarth, Karun Nair, Ronit More, Shreyas Gopal, Abhimanyu Mithun, HS Sharath, Ganesh Satish, Amit Verma, Abrar Kazi, KP Appanna.

Uttar Pradesh:  Mohd Kaif, RP Singh, Piyush Chawla, Tanmay Srivastav, Mukul Dagar, Parvinder Singh, Arish Alam, Eklavya Dwivedi, Pravin Gupta, Ali Murtuza, Imtiaz Ahmed, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Umang Sharma.

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