On New Zealand as a venue: New Zealand is probably the best place to tour. I enjoyed it but lot of people didn't because conditions do not suit many people of our country. When I toured last, some players were from South India and were not used to the cold weather, food and alcohol.
On India having played just 3 T20 games since their WC title win in 2007: I don't think that will play a major role in Wednesday's Twenty20 encounter. The IPL that we had in India with 45 odd games was good platform. Most of these players played in it and the intensity was no less than the international games. Also T20 is too short a version to really assess which is a better side, who's a better player because on your day a spell can turn the game in your favour. We saw that in Sri Lanka when the Pathan brothers won us the almost lost match. They played just 25 balls and that changed the course of the game.
On India being the favourites in this tour: For Wednesday's T20 tie, I would pick India. For the Test series, we are definitely a far superior side unless another Shane Bond emerges as a surprise.
Biggest challenge for India: Apart from the weather, there are two things I will be very keen to look at. First will be the Indian opening partnership. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have done exceptionally well for India in the past two years. This will be the first time when they'll really be tested. It will be interesting to see if they can give the similar starts.
Second is our bowling back-up. We have always played with two or three frontline bowlers. All our part-timers are spinners like Yuvraj, Sehwag and Yusuf. Sachin has the ability to swing the ball.
If these two things go well, India has nothing much to worry.
On weather: We talk about the weather till the match starts. Once the game starts, weather really matters. Wind plays a major role but not in Christchurch. But these are international players and should be able to adapt to these conditions.