New Zealand may have been the World Test Champions in the inaugural season, their win implying diversification of the format of the sport, however, the Blackcaps are yet to conquer one part of world cricket, one of the most important of all. When Kane Williamson's men take the field on November 25, at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, the visitors will not just chase to break a 33-year-old winless streak, but also their maiden Test series win in India, against India.
The last time New Zealand won a Test match in India, Rajiv Gandhi was serving his penultimate year as the prime minister of India, four of India's present Test squad - Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, and Virat Kohli - were only a few months old, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak had just released and price of petrol was just INR 8 a litre. Okay...enough! The year was 1988 - November 24.
John Wright, India's former head coach, captained the last New Zealand side that won in India. It was a victory of a margin of 136 runs in Mumbai. And it was only their second Test win, which came 19 years after their maiden win, in 1969, by 167 runs in Nagpur.
Overall, New Zealand have played 34 Tests in India, losing 16 while 16 others ended in a draw. Their win-loss record of 0.125 is only better than Zimbabwe and Ireland's zero, among all non-Asian Test playing nations. In fact, in the last decade, New Zealand have drawn only two Tests in India, losing six others.
New Zealand are yet to win a Test series in India. They have played 11 series in India and only two ended in a draw - in 1969 and in 2003.
Numbers also show that New Zealand have struggled in Asian conditions. In 84 Tests they have played since their inaugural tour to the continent in 1955, New Zealand won only 15 off 84 Tests, losing 38 others. Their win-loss ratio of 0.394 is only better than Zimbabwe's 0.181.
Earlier this month, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead had acknowledged the challenge of beating India in Tests at home as one of world cricket's greatest challenges.
"It is one of world cricket's greatest challenges, going to India and winning Test matches. We're certainly under no illusions as to how tough that will be," Stead had told reporters.