Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cramped itinerary for New Zealand tour

India in New Zealand 2009

  • March 6: Twenty20 international, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
  • March 8: 1st ODI, McLean Park, Napier (Day/night)
  • March 11: 2nd ODI, Seddon Park, Haminton (Day/night)
  • March 14: 3rd ODI, Eden Park, Auckland (Day/night)
  • March 17: 4th ODI, Westpac Stadium, Wellington (Day/night)
  • March 20: 5th ODI, AMI Stadium, Christchurch (Day/night)
  • March 22-24: v New Zealand XI, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln University
  • March 26-30: 1st Test, Seddon Park, Hamilton
  • April 3-7: 2nd Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington.

India face a gruelling schedule during their tour to New Zealand next year, with a possible 19 days of cricket to be played in a span of 33 days.

The tour, India's first of New Zealand since 2002-03, begins with a Twenty20 international at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington and ends with the final Test, from April 3-7, at the Basin Reserve in the same city. India will play one Twenty20 international, five day-night ODIs, a warm-up three-day game, and two Tests during their trip; they return home in time for the second edition of the Indian Premier League.

A hectic itinerary means the Indian players will have only a day's break between the Twenty20 international and the first ODI in Napier, as well as between the fifth ODI in Hamilton and the warm-up match in Lincoln, near Christchurch, which concludes two days before the start of the first Test in Hamilton.

India had a torrid time on their last trip in December 2002-January 2003, losing the two-Test series 2-0 and the seven-ODI contest 5-2. The visit came in the build-up to the World Cup in South Africa, where the Indian team, under severe pressure initially, made it to the final.

Cold and damp conditions resulted in favourable conditions for bowlers, with neither Test lasting five days, and teams batting first often getting bowled out cheaply in the ODI series.

India are also slated to visit Pakistan for a full tour early next year.