Moles wary of an India backlash at Wellington

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> New Zealand coach Andy Moles on Thursday asked his wards to lift their standard in all departments of the game.

Updated: February 26, 2009 09:24 IST
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Wary of an Indian backlash in the second Twenty20 International, New Zealand coach Andy Moles on Thursday asked his wards to lift their standard in all departments of the game.

Moles expects India, after their seven-wicket loss in the tour opener last night, have now got a fair idea about the Kiwi players and would come back strongly on Friday.

"They know we are a good side. They have seen us operate last night, and they won't be taking anything for granted," a cautious Moles said.

According to him, the hosts would have to up their game in all areas to thwart an Indian backlash.

"We are looking at all areas. While bowling we didn't hit the hole we wanted to. In fielding, we were good overall but we can be better. Perhaps we are struggling a bit with our batting at the top of the order. We are not going to stand still. As a team we are looking to get better with every game," Moles said.

According to him, experience played a big part in last night's win against India.

"We thought we had a good tour of Australia. We didn't win there. I thought it was an opportunity missed. We were disappointed with the way we went about the chase in the Twenty20 game", he said.

"Obviously last night we saw the benefits of having a bit more experience in the side," Moles said.

In yesterday's match, Brendon McCullum played a rather subdued 49-ball 56 not out to guide the hosts to victory and Moles defended the dapper stumper's approach.

"It was a good innings. He just struggled to get going as the wicket was two-paced. He had to play the supporting role to see the side home. He can assess the situation while he is out there and adjust his game accordingly," said Moles.

"He is a very good all-round player. In the Twenty20 version, he can play all types of innings. The mark of good players is that they get a score when they are not on top of their game.

"And we have seen from Brendon that he feels he is not in the peak of form, but he can still take the responsibility to see the side home. That in itself is a great skill," he said.

Moles said the top six Kiwi batsmen were all destructive players. "We know what Jesse (Ryder) is capable of. We just have to get him firing. The top five or six players we have got are destructive players and they score at a fantastic rate. You are looking for two or three of them to come off, as you saw last night. You should be able to set or chase any target to win the game for New Zealand," he said.

Moles, like the bowlers who were massacred for a record 24 sixes at the AMI stadium yesterday, said he did not fancy playing in small grounds.

"It is okay when we are winning. After the first over I wasn't too keen on it. The Indians have so many destructive players. But we did really well when we batted. It is the same for both sides," he said.

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