Napier: India will have to contend with some hostile and aggressive fast bowling in the first ODI, New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum warned on Saturday.
The hosts have an impressive attack, consisting of five fast bowlers — Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne and James Neesham.
“We are leaning towards an all-pace attack at this stage, but we will take a call only after seeing how everyone pulls through training.
“It will be quite nice to unleash a bit of pace in this opening game and try and be as aggressive and hostile as we can with the ball,” said McCullum.
The captain added that he expected a “pretty big score in this game” even though he thinks he has bowlers who can make life tough for India’s batsmen.
“If we get a quick wicket anywhere, we will look to play Adam Milne. He is young and is slowly gaining experience, but he can really work up a good bit of pace that can bring about injuries.
“We want to use him when the conditions suit him best. We have other options as well, in Mills and Southee, who are more than capable of bowling with the new ball.
“There is room for an all-pace attack and it is an aggressive bowling line-up. They have played quite a bit of cricket, so we have to manage their workload accordingly,” McCullum explained.
McCullum, however, was a bit more watchful in his summary of the visiting team. Dale Steyn played a significant role during the ODI and Test series in South Africa, both of which India lost.
“Dale Steyn is a world-class bowler and has been so for a number of years. He’s been successful against pretty much everyone in world cricket.
“We haven’t got the bowlers at that level yet. But who knows what will happen in a couple of years if we keep developing them! In terms of how India responded in South Africa, they still played pretty good cricket at times.
“They are not ranked number one (in ODIs) for no reason. They are successful and excellent players, and they got to number one ranking after playing well for a particular period of time. We are very respectful of them.
“But we have got areas where we can attack them. For us to win this series, we have to play our best cricket this summer,” said McCullum.