Vettori expects New Zealand to improve against India

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JOHANNESBURG, Sep 16 (Reuters) New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori expects an improved performance when his team play India in today's opening Twenty20 World Cup Super Eight match.

The Kiwis suffered a seven-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Johannesburg on Saturday and Vettori said they needed to lift their game in all departments.

''We've seen all the Indian players before so we have a fair idea what they're about. They still have good players and their opening bowlers are good operators, so we've got to lift our game,'' Vettori told reporters.

He said New Zealand would reconsider their batting approach in the opening overs, after they scored 38 for two in the first six overs against Sri Lanka.

''We were trying to assess the pitch and see what a good score would be. Our plan was to set up the innings and not go too hard too early,'' said Vettori.

''But we saw how Sri Lanka attacked in the early overs and that gave them momentum for a pretty easy run chase, so we'll have to look at that for the game against India,'' he added.

The spinner pointed out, however, that their previous record suggested they would bounce back from their drubbing yesterday with a much better performance in Johannesburg today.

''It was a poor performance, but we are renown for backing up a bad showing with a good one. We will need to step up in every department especially because India looked at home with the format against Pakistan last night.'' India beat Pakistan 3-0 in a dramatic five-ball bowl-out at three stumps after their match ended in a tie on Friday.

Vettori was also confident Shane Bond, his country's leading bowler, would rebound after a dreadful performance against Sri Lanka in which he conceded 45 runs in four overs and dropped two catches.

''It was not nice for Shane today, he's normally our star performer. But he will bounce back and I'm sure he will be a resounding success.'' Vettori said the slower bowlers could be crucial in restricting India's free-scoring batsmen.

''The way the nature of the pitch is going, I think there will be more of a role for myself, Scott Styris, Jeetan Patel and Craig McMillan,'' he added.

REUTERS BJR RN1045

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