McCullum to return to opener's role against India in Test series


Melbourne:
New Zealand is all set to bring back Brendon McCullum as an opening batsman for the two-Test series against India starting on Thursday in Hyderabad.

McCullum, who batted at No.3 during the recent 2-0 series loss to the West Indies, has a preference to open, and captain Ross Taylor confirmed the 31-year-old would pad up alongside Martin Guptill.

Daniel Flynn had a solid series as opener against the West Indies before injuring his groin.

Taylor didn't say if Flynn would bat at first drop or whether Kane Williamson would be promoted up the order for that role.

"Martin Guptill and Brendon will open the innings. Brendon batted well here on previous occasions and, hopefully, he will continue in the same vein in the upcoming Tests," Taylor said.

McCullum's previous knock against India in Hyderabad was a match-saving 225 in the second innings two years ago, his highest Test score, The Age reports.

Taylor said a good preparation would be crucial if New Zealand were to be competitive against an Indian side that is hard to beat on home soil.

He said: "We know we have lot of work to do in the next two to three days to make sure we are prepared for the challenge.

"We would certainly like to put some good plans in place and be positive about the way we look to play. India is a familiar place for a lot of us. We have played well here and are looking forward to the contest."

Taylor was particularly wary of the Indian spin attack, and said his players would need to have plans in place to counter the variation of the home side. (ANI)

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