McLean Park wicket is excellent: NZC

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> New Zealand Cricket dismissed the concerns about McLean Park wicket for the 2nd Test, saying the strip is in 'excellent condition'.

Updated: March 24, 2009 17:41 IST
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New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday dismissed the concerns about McLean Park wicket to be used for the second Test, saying the strip, which developed some fungal growth, is in 'excellent condition'.

The Kiwi cricket board clarified that the pitch was not affected by any disease.

"The Test playing strip is slightly to one side of the strip originally scheduled to be used for the match, which was affected by minor patchiness after reseeding following the West Indies series. The patchiness is purely cosmetic and not the result of disease.

"The new strip appears hard and flat, with affected areas well outside the playing zone. The strip has been extensively prepared over the past 10 days and is in excellent condition," NZC said in a statement.

But both Daniel Vettori and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will have the condition of this wicket, which had produced close to 600 runs in the first ODI three weeks ago, on their mind before they choose to bat or bowl in what would be decisive match of the series.

A victory for India would give them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber and a series victory, last achieved in 1967-68 by Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

A win for the Kiwis would put them back in contention for a series triumph as well.

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