14 June 2024 last updated at 01:04 GMT
Indian cricketers practice in Hyderabad ahead of the first Test against Kiwis
Wednesday 22 August 2012

The Indian cricket team practiced here on Tuesday, ahead of the first Test match against New Zealand that begins on August 23.

The Hyderabad Test will be used by the Indians to redeem themselves in the eyes of fans after losing eight consecutive away tests in England and Australia last year to relinquish the world number one status.

India will go into the match and the series without two batting stalwarts - Rahul Dravid and V.V.S.Laxman - with both retiring from international cricket this year.

While Laxman announced his retirement on Saturday, Dravid had announced his in March.

Sachin Tendulkar, 39, is the only surviving member of the famed batting trio and it will now be up to the young players to make an impression.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are the most likely candidates to fill the void although Subramaniam Badrinath is waiting in the wings as well.

India, ranked fifth in the world, also need to find two dependable slip fielders in the absence of Dravid and Laxman.

Eighth-ranked New Zealand is still smarting from a two-nil Test defeat in the West Indies.

The Black Caps have never won a series in India and their problems have been compounded by the absence of Daniel Vettori, their most capped Test cricketer.

The all-rounder has been ruled out by injury and New Zealand will miss the spinner's experience on the low and slow surfaces of India.

Despite their poor overseas form, India has a formidable record at home.


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