Tour of New Zealand 2002-03Captain: Sourav Ganguly
49th Test tour
Seventh Test-playing tour of New Zealand by India
(December 2002 -
New Zealand Cricket's 47-day tour itinerary, agreed to in July 2002, packed in two Test matches before Christmas and seven ODIs in a row, designed to meet the needs of both teams preparing for the 2003 ICC World Cup.
John Wright toured his home country for the first time since becoming Indian coach.
Wisden's Almanack described the tour as "an unmitigated disaster". India conceded the two-Test series in quick time, the first Test lasting only to the middle of the third afternoon and the second requiring less playing time than the first.It was another low-scoring affair with New Zealand stubbornly resisting India to gain a narrow win.The tourists then lost the first four one-day internationals in a row and thus the series, gaining only consolation wins in two of the remaining matches.
Captain Ganguly called it the worst that one of his sides had played.
Wet weather and seaming pitches created problems for batsmen on both sides but India's batsmen seemingly lacked enough commitment to counter the seaming ball. Among the bowlers only Zaheer Khan in the Tests and Srinath in the ODIs took advantage of the substandard bowler-friendly pitches.
The manager N R Chowdhury played for India twice v West Indies in 1948-49, and toured England in 1952.
Brijesh Patel (South, chairman), Kirti Azad (North), Kiran More (West), Pranab Roy (East) and Sanjay Jagdale (Central). Also present at the selection meeting in Mumbai were captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright.
Unavailable:Anil Kumble for the Test matches (for 'personal reasons'); Javagal Srinath (injured)
Sachin Tendulkar (hamstring) and Zaheer Khan (shin injury) were passed fit to tour on 22 November.
Tour Party Announced:25 November 2002
The selectors picked sixteen players for the three-week Test section of the tour, one more player than in New Zealand in 1994 (a four week tour) or in 1998-99 (five weeks).Some played only in the 20-over Super Max game while Rakesh Patel who was called into the one-day party did not play in a single match.
Not selectedSarandeep Singh (spin bowler), Deep Dasgupta (wk);Balaji would have considered himself unlucky and Yohannan's selection was a surprise choice.A niggling injury forced the selectors to restSrinath until the one-day series began.
The selectors met again in Kolkata between the first and second Tests (18 December) to pick a 16-man team for the one-dayers but held back two of their selections to monitor performances in the second Test
A Kumble (K), J Srinath (K) and Yuvraj Singh (Pj) were chosen to replace SS Das, M Kartik, Ratra, A Nehra and Yohannan. Then the selectors added RB Patel (Ba), and asked Nehra to remain with the squad
Time between selection and departure from India
(25 November - 1 December)
Players started assembling on the evening of 30 November and left from N.S.C.Bose International Airport, Kolkata, on a Royal Brunei flight Sunday morning 1 December.The team was seen off by the Board president, Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya.Departure was originally due to be from New Delhi, but then changed to Kolkata.
After 18 hours of flying via Bangkok, they landed at Auckland (2 December) and then flew on to Christchurch. Two of the cricketers Harbhajan Singh and batsman Virender Sehwag were fined $NZ 200 by New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture for arriving in the country with undeclared shoes (which must all be inspected for risk of importing pests).
•Zaheer Khan returned his Test-best figures of 5-29 at Hamilton after taking 5-53 in the first Test at Wellington.
•Apart from Dravid (76) and Tendulkar (51) at Wellington, no Indian scored a fifty in the Tests.
Other first-class matches
† Minor matches
§ One-day internationals
Return to India
Murali Kartik, Tinu Yohannan and Ajay Ratra returned home from Auckland at the end of the Test series on 25 December.Shiv Sunder Das left two days later.
The ill-starred New Zealand tour ended with the one-day party flying out from Auckland on 15 January 2003.
They landed at Mumbai Airport on Friday morning 17 January. Ganguly gave reporters the slip leaving from a rear exit of the airport and later caught a flight to Kolkata. Vice-captain Rahul Dravid and his Karnataka teammates went on to Bangalore.