MUMBA: New Zealand are preparing for a rotational try in their two-test series against India, but the world champions are excited to face the acid test, captain Kane Williamson said yesterday.
Winning a series of tests in a spin-dominated India, which hasn’t lost a series at home since late 2012, remains one of the toughest tasks for any team in the sport.
The series between India and New Zealand, starting with the opener in Kanpur on Thursday, will be the first between the two sides since they met in the World Trials final in Southampton in June.
Williamson’s men won this contest, but they have never won a Test series let alone a Test match since the 1988-89 tour.
“This final has been a special memory for a long time, but we know that we are here against a very strong team and that they are great, especially in their own conditions,” Williamson told reporters.
“I’m sure throughout the series the rotation component will be a sure factor. I’m sure it’s no different here in Kanpur.”
The touring team have only had two full squad training sessions, with their Twenty20 players taking part in a three-game streak before testing. Williamson, who skipped the T20 stage, said they will need to adapt quickly.
“We know the strength of the Indian spinners and they have been fantastic for a long time,” said Williamson, adding that they would be looking at different methods and ways of trying to score against the spinners.
The hosts will be without captain Virat Kohli, who decided to skip the first test, while forerunners Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, wicket keeper Rishabh Pant and fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will miss both games.
An exhausted Indian team will not make New Zealand the favorites, however, according to Williamson.
“One of the great strengths of Indian cricket, whatever its format, is its depth and we have seen it in so many ways over the years,” he added.
“Knowing their own conditions is also quite unique for touring teams. The challenge is great and we are delighted to meet it. “- Reuters