Veteran New Zealand pacer Tim Southee feels that India has some world-class players and are getting better on the road as they prepare to bounce back in the third T20I here on Wednesday.
India beat the Kiwis in the first two T20Is of the ongoing five-match series.
“India have played well. They’re a great side and they’re full of world-class players. The first game is the one that slightly got away on us but we were certainly outplayed in the second game.
“We know it’s always tough when you play against India and they’re becoming a better and better side away from home as well. We know we need to be on top of our game if we need to beat India,” Southee said here.
Asked if he would have special plans for in-form batters K.L. Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, Southee said: “I think you have initial plans for some of the guys who haven’t seen a lot of. And he’s (Iyer) come in and played with freedom. He’s got a great start to the series. He’s obviously full of confidence.
“As I say, in this Indian side, there’s not one or two guys but the whole side who have quality, not only with the bat but with the ball as well. Those tactics might change as the series goes on as you see more of the players.”
Southee said New Zealand might look to get India out of their comfort area of chasing.
“Decisions are based around what we think the surface is best to do. We thought it was best to bat first in those first two games. I don’t think we did it overly well in the second game. The first game we should have been able to defend that. Whatever you do, you just got to do it well.”
He added that the Seddon Park wicket would be true to white-ball cricket as in the past.
“It’s usually a good surface when you turn up for white-ball cricket. Another small ground so I’m looking forward to another typical Seddon Park wicket. It comes back to the nature of the surface. If they are reactive to cutters and what not, then you use them more.
“The mentality doesn’t change just because the boundary-size is smaller. You’re trying to assess the conditions, assess the state of the match as well and try and bowl what’s best at the time,” he said.
Southee opined that the Black Caps’ batsmen should raise their game.
“Change of venue should help us. We need to win this game but I think it goes back to what we need to do as a group. Focus on how we prepare today and if we play the way that we know this team can play then I’m sure the result will take care of itself.
“The guys would have learnt from the first two games. The first one got away from us. We should have defended that. We can’t sort look over our shoulders. We need to look ahead to this game and hopefully keep the series alive going forward.”