Wellington: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said the Kiwis will settle for nothing less than a win when they take on India in the second Test here today. The Kiwis lead the two-Test series 1-0. “We always play to win. That’s how we will look to try and operate in this match as well,” he said.

Brendon McCullum

McCullum feels his pacers would be excited with the green top at the Basin Reserve. However, the strip will be different from the one on which the Kiwis thrashed the West Indies by an innings and 73 runs in December.

“It looks a little bit greener than what we had against West Indies and looks a bit harder as well. We expect a bit of pace and bounce and maybe a bit of sideways movement as well.

“We think the pace and the bounce that we will be able to generate from this wicket will play to our advantage,” the skipper said.

McCullum, who has lost six tosses on the trot in the series, said he would bowl first if he wins the maiden toss on the tour.

“Obviously we’ll look to have a bowl if we win the toss. But if we find ourselves batting we have Neesham at eight, we have quite a bit of batting. We’ve been in some precarious positions having to bat first this summer and we’ve come through those tests pretty well,” he said.

Taylor ruled out
Ross Taylor was ruled out for the second Test since his wife is expecting their second child anytime during the match. Batsman Tom Latham and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham will make their debuts. 

NZ’s playing XI: Brendon McCullum (captain), Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.