Nagpur: New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said on Friday his team's creditable performances against India in the first two drawn Tests will count for nothing if it loses the deciding third match.
"Our team will be viewed on the basis of this Test rather than the previous ones," Vettori said ahead of the final match starting at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday.
New Zealand came into the series on the back of a 4-0 one-day series defeat in Bangladesh but now has a chance of beating the top-ranked Test side on its own soil.
"Our team will be viewed on the basis of this Test rather than the previous ones," Vettori said ahead of the final Test.
India had to salvage a draw in the first match at Ahmedabad and also failed to dominate the second match at Hyderabad.
"We've played well so far," Vettori said. "We hope we don't get ahead of ourselves as we are excited to be in this position."
New Zealand had lost 4-0 in a five-match limited-overs series to Bangladesh last month but Vettori commended his team for its recovery.
"The team picked itself up pretty well, made good preparations for this series and the performances followed. There is a lot of confidence going around now," Vettori said after a team practice session in overcast conditions.
The Black Caps skipper said results from previous matches at this venue indicated there could be some help for seam bowlers after two matches on flat tracks.
"As for the pitch, we can only go by history. Steyn bowled well here, so we can expect a little more pace but that will unfold as the match goes on," said Vettori.
Steyn had finished with a 10-wicket haul in the last match at the venue, which India lost to South Africa by an innings and six runs earlier this year.
The only other match at this venue, between India and Australia in 2008, was won by the host by a margin of 172 runs in a game dominated by spinners.
"We are expecting India to be at its best. We have to see who they bring in for Zaheer Khan. It is likely to be Ishant Sharma and he is likely to pose a challenge for us," Vettori added.
Vettori added that he hopes to contain Harbhajan Singh's batting, after the off-spinner became the first No. 8 batsman to score centuries in consecutive Tests but warned that he was a major threat with the ball.
"Harbhajan is one of the guys I really admire. He is a fantastic spinner. He probably has not got the results he wanted in this series but he has a wide repertoire and is a very good bowler. He has proved himself over the years and there is no way we are going to underestimate him."
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose team missed a second straight day of practice due to rain, said Zaheer would be missed but others needed to take responsibility.
"Every bowler's role is crucial when you are playing with only four bowlers," said Dhoni. "As for Harbhajan, he has been bowling well but not getting the wickets and the onus is also on others take wickets."
The India skipper felt the pitch might not have much help for seamers.
"The pitch is dry and not the one on which we might like to play an extra seamer," he said.
Though there have been intermittent showers in the area over the past two days, the weather is expected to clear for the next few days.