Christchurch:New Zealand have drawn on the inside knowledge of former India coach John Wright as they prepare to play the side they regard as the best in the world.
India's tour of New Zealand starts on Wednesday with the first of two Twenty20 matches to be followed by five one-day internationals and three Tests.
Wright, the former Kiwi opener who coached India from 2000-2005, has been heavily involved with preparations for the series, according to New Zealand's Andy Moles.
Despite Wright's tips, and India's reputation as poor travellers, Moles insists New Zealand are still the underdogs.
"They've put that to bed in the last couple of years and did really well in Australia last year," said the coach.
"The Indians, I believe, are probably the number one side in the world at the moment in all facets and we will need to make sure we are at our best in all components of our game."
India have not won a Test series in New Zealand in 41 years, but they arrive on the back of home series victories over Australia and England and a 4-1 one-day away win against Sri Lanka.
New Zealand, on the other hand, squandered a 2-0 one-day lead against Australia to draw the series 2-2 and then lost the Twenty20 by one run.
Moles is demanding more backbone from his team which has been strengthened by the return of the often injured allrounder Jacob Oram, who will play as a specialist batsman.
With the big-hitting Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder as openers, Moles believes New Zealand can hurt any bowling attack, and are capable of out-fielding the Indians as well.
But the Kiwi bowling looks a shade light without Kyle Mills, who has an Achilles injury.
When India toured New Zealand six years ago, and faced green wickets, they were humbled 0-2 in the Tests and lost the ODIs 2-5.
However, India coach Gary Kirsten said that was a different era and today's team has the talent to exploit whatever conditions it faces.
"We don't focus on what's in the past, we worry about what's happening ahead," Kirsten told reporters.
"We have played 17 games of cricket since September last year and lost one. So we are very happy with our performance."
But Kirsten does believe his bowlers will need to adapt quickly to the unfamiliar windy conditions, and he has had them bowling into the breeze during practice this week.
Even without master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who will not play in either of the Twenty20s, India retain the explosive power of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, plus the bowling of Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma.
Regardless of the outcome of the series, New Zealand Cricket already believes it's a winner, thanks to the galaxy of stars in the Indian side.
New Zealand expects to receive in excess of 25 million dollars, its biggest pay cheque, from a multi-million dollar television rights deal.