|Player:||BB McCullum, DL Vettori|
|Event:||Pakistan in New Zealand 2009/10|
DateLine: 15th November 2009
New Zealand's stand-in captain Brendon McCullum hoped Daniel Vettori regains full fitness to lead the team in the first Test against Pakistan starting later this month.
"I hope Daniel gets fit to lead the team in the Tests," McCullum said of the regular captain who missed team's two Twenty20 matches which finished in Pakistan's 2-0 win.
Vettori felt concussion after being hit on the grille of his helmet during the third one-day match at Abu Dhabi last week. He vomitted before CT scans revealed no injury, but doctors advised him two-weeks rest. That put Vettori in doubt for the first Test against Pakistan starting at Dunedin from November 25.
McCullum reckoned both teams were evenly balanced.
"I think both the teams are pretty similar, evenly matched but we have to put up collective effort to combat their spinners, who are quality bowlers," said McCullum of Pakistani spinners Danish Kaneria and Saeed Ajmal.
When asked whether Pakistan handed New Zealand the advantage by relocating the Test series to their rivals' country, McCullum said: "it (advantage or not) will depend on what type of wickets we make during the series.
"Pakistan has been a dangerous side for a number of years and we have to be at our best to beat them. Pakistan, at times, can do amazing things in batting, bowling and fielding."
New Zealand had to tour Pakistan for three one-day, two Twenty20 and three Test matches but the limited over series was shifted to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Tests to New Zealand over security fears in Pakistan.
"The conditions here in the UAE suited Pakistan but back home they will be in our advantage. The real thing is how you play in Tests, which is very different to limited over matches," said McCullum.
New Zealand will also hope opener Jesse Ryder, paceman Daryl Tuffey and all-rounder Grant Elliott -- who all missed the UAE tour due to injuries -- get fit for the Tests.
McCullum said New Zealand players have learnt a lot during the UAE tour.
"The fact that we won the one-day series and put up a good fight in both the Twenty20 matches were good enough experience for the players and they can walk away satisfied," said McCullum.