India captain MS Dhoni demands better away form in New Zealand
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has called on his team to toughen up away from home.
Last Updated: 17/01/14 5:53pm
Dhoni's side have been struggling to replicate their dominant home form on their travels, although they showed signs of improvement during their Test series defeat in South Africa last month.
India have now lost three straight Test series away from home without winning a match compared with just two defeats in 21 Test matches on home soil.
They now face New Zealand in five one-day internationals, starting in Napier on
Sunday, followed by two Tests and Dhoni is determined to banish the travel-sickness.
"Other countries too have lost overseas," he told the Times of India. "But very often we have the tagline of 'lambs abroad' because we are a team from the subcontinent. We don't talk about some other countries that have not done well.
"Yes, we have a slightly bigger challenge. More than the pace, the bounce is an issue.
"We had done well in New Zealand and South Africa before we lost in England and Australia (in 2011-12). It is unfortunate that the tag is affixed to us.
"We did well in the two Tests against South Africa, we lost the second Test because we played bad cricket for just two and a half hours and ended up being on the receiving end."
With Yuvraj Singh not on the tour, Suresh Raina is likely to take over at No 4 while Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu are also in contention.
All-rounder Stuart Binny and seamers Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey have also been included in the India squad, with Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav left out.
New Zealand's squad shows a solitary change from their recent series against the West Indies, with fit-again paceman Tim Southee taking the place of batsman Colin Munro.
All-rounder Corey Anderson, who hit a world-record 36-ball century against the Windies earlier this month, could be rested at some point in the series after coach Mike Hesson raised concerns over fatigue.
The pacey Adam Milne looks set for a major role in their bowling attack, and Hesson wants his side to take the attack to India from the start.
"If you just try and deny there comes a time in the game with only four fielders out where it's extremely hard to defend," Hesson told stuff.co.nz.
"If you're able to keep taking wickets at the top you can control those middle overs. That's a pattern that's worked well for us and one we'd certainly look to continue.
"It's aggression in terms of where you bowl the ball, the pace you bowl and the areas you bowl. You're not just running up and putting it there and hoping good things will happen, you're actually trying to make things happen.
"We've got a few guys who do that naturally so we'll certainly be encouraging that."
The wicket at Napier's McLean Park is expected to favour the fast bowlers, and Hesson added: "Quick, bouncy, a good wicket, a high-scoring game - that's the pattern we get there and it's been pretty consistent."