The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Don’t take New Zealand lightly, warns Kapil

Bangalore, Aug. 9 (PTI): Former skipper Kapil Dev said on Saturday that New Zealand may find it difficult to counter Indian conditions and pitches during the forthcoming series but warned Sourav Ganguly and his men not to get too complacent.

“The conditions will be tough for them, but the Black Caps have the knack of rising to the occasion and cannot be taken lightly,” he said. “India definitely hold the upperhand in the coming series at home and the Black Caps would find it very difficult.”

Sourav’s boys were “well-equipped” in domestic conditions and “slow” pitches, he said at a press conference here.

Kapil did not agree that India were beaten convincingly by New Zealand when they toured there last year. “It’s just that New Zealand exploited conditions and pitches at home to the hilt.”

Virtually blaming the pitches for India’s dismal show on the trip, he said: “nobody got more than 150 runs”.

Kapil said Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif, who have not excelled in county cricket, need to focus more but pointed out that they were “very young”.

“They have just started playing. They need to get adjusted to different conditions and get more mature. They need to play a few more matches,” he said.

He expressed happiness with the current crop of seamers, saying Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra have been bowling well, with Ajit Agarkar “filling up” whenever required.

About veteran speedster Jawagal Srinath, Kapil said, “we don’t have to talk too much about Srinath. He has been proving it time and again”.

He also praised off-spinner Harbhajan Singh saying he had been bowling “wonderfully well”.

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