Christchurch:Taming India's swashbuckling opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will be crucial to New Zealand's success in the Twenty20 International on Wendnesday, home team captain Daniel Vettori said.
Hinting that the Kiwis would target the Delhi duo tomorrow, Vettori said, "Sehwag creates a momentum at the top of the order and is such an aggressive player that he can take the game away quite quickly. A lot of our emphasis is on him and probably Gambhir. If we can put some pressure on India early and contain Sehwag and Gambhir, it would be handy.
"It is probably going to be crucial to our success. When these guys get away, it is always hard to get back in the game," said Vettori.
Interestingly, the Kiwis aren't equally worried about Yuvraj Singh who has a formidable reputation in this format.
"We are not underestimating him as a player and how destructive he can be. We are just hoping that we get to him early by our plans for Gambhir and Sehwag.
"If we can do that he will hopefully be more vulnerable than when he comes in with a bit of platform. But he still is a very good player and is in some very good form as well," said Vettori.
The Kiwi captain reckoned former India coach John Wright's knowledge of the visiting cricketers would be an advantage for New Zealand.
"He has been around the team a lot and we enjoy his experience. We are lucky enough to have someone who has knowledge about the Indian side. We have been picking his brain for a while, not just with individual aspects of the players but taking on the Indian team and what things he thought worked in the past when they were successful," Vettori said.
"If we can replicate that it would be good for us," he added. Talking about his own team, Vettori said Jacob Oram was the most important player in the side.
"Jacob's a huge help. In my opinion he's the most important player of the team because of his all-round ability, though he is not bringing the bowling aspect at this stage.
He is a world class player and his record speaks for it self," said the bespectacled left-arm spinner.
Hardly perturbed by the inexperience look of the side, Vettori said, "There are a lot of guys who have played under 10 games but a lot of those were won. So their performance has definitely lifted up the confidence in the team. Mark Guptill and Neil Broom have being fantastic in the short time they have been in the side. We are hoping they can capitalise on what they've done in a short period of time."
Overall, Vettori is looking forward to a good series against India and was hopeful that his team would measure up to the challenge.
"I think it is going to be a very good series. India have come with a formidable reputation, the one that they've earned over the last couple of years with the way they've played cricket. Obviously, they are ranked higher than us in both forms of the game.
"But I suppose we enjoy playing at home. We feel a lot more comfortable here and we have got a pretty good record. Hopefully, those things will play in our favour. But we also understand this is one of our biggest challenges. We are hoping to continue our form from Australia," he said.