Vettori: Gambhir, Sehwag best duo in the sport

Mumbai: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has hailed India’s opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag as the best duo in world cricket today ahead of the two teams’ battle over the next six weeks. India departed for New Zealand early on Thursday.

“The key players I think are the two openers — Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Sehwag is very dangerous and Gambhir has done exceptionally well in the last couple of years. A lot will depend on how they perform in New Zealand conditions,” Vettori said in an interview to Daily News Analysis (DNA).

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Gary Kirsten, John Wright and even New Zealand’s current players have conceded that the current Indian team is better prepared to succeed in the testing conditions compared to the outfit led by Sourav Ganguly that was embarrassed during the 2002-03 season. Vettori said that he was banking on India’s poor track record in New Zealand in order for his team to succeed.

“The pitches here are quite different from the ones in the past. The conditions are no longer that difficult as they used to be for a visiting side. The tracks have become flatter. It is a much more even playing field. It would come down to the skill of the day. India will have no complaints on that count.”

Vettori, who took over the captaincy less than two years back, is confident about his younger players and reckons that they are capable of slugging it out with the formidable Indians. “We’ve had a sort of transformation. Because of injuries and retirements in the last 18 months, we’ve got some good young players. They are exceptionally talented. I’m excited about the things coming through. I’m also looking forward to some players who have recovered from injuries.

The left-arm spinner praised a couple of youngsters who performed exceedingly well during their recently concluded five-match ODI series against Australia. “Neil Broom and Ross Taylor have done well at the top of the order. Iain O’Brien and Tim Southee have taken up the challenge. There are a number of young guys. Hopefully that will be one of the advantages.”

A wide range of experts are already hailing Vettori as a future great, in terms of captaincy. A rather humble Vettori said he had a long way to go before achieving his true potential as a leader. “I think a good captain has to be the best player in the side.

He has to have the ability to lead from the front — whether it is scoring runs or taking wickets. I admired captains like Stephen Fleming and Mark Taylor who always looked to be in control on the field. I think now Dhoni is having a good understanding of the situation on the field. He is a good captain.”

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