New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson believes the Blackcaps will not be the favourite to win the two-match Test series against India despite the absence of star Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. Williamson pointed out that spin will play a big role in the upcoming two-match Test series, saying both teams will be looking to play strong spin components in the Kanpur Test.
In Kanpur, New Zealand will face a stern test against the Indian spinners. In Indian conditions, the spin trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel is a handful, with a combined tally of 470 wickets at an average of 20.97. It is going to be a daunting challenge for a Kiwi batting line-up that only has three players with experience of playing on Indian soil.
“I guess everybody is looking at different ways to be effective, whether it is the new ball for a seamer or spinner in terms of their role. Like you mentioned, the Indian side has new players from their last series, so there are different factors to take into account. For us, it is about being well prepared and being as effective as possible as a bowling unit,” Williamson said during the virtual pre-match press conference.
“I suppose it is important to adapt and adjust and see what might be the most effective. As we have seen in this part of the world, the spin component has been very large and it has played a big role in changing the complexion of the game. So I am sure both sides will be aware of that and looking to play a strong spin component,” Williamson added.
Williamson had taken a break from the T20I series in order to be ready for the Test series.
“The preparation has been really good, guys have been able to gain some practice. All the Test players are excited to be back together. I am sure throughout the whole series, the spin component will be a factor and it will be no different in Kanpur. It will be about assessing the conditions as quickly as possible.
“Look, very challenging schedule after a World Cup, and credit to both teams for putting their best foot forward and really competing in a big way. I suppose when you do have different formats, World Cups, and WTC focuses on side-gear towards that. It is natural and all teams look to do that. It was special to have crowds facing the games. We are all fortunate to be here and playing international cricket,” he added.
“No, I do not think we are favourites. The big strength of Indian cricket is its depth and we have seen that over the years. India has great knowledge of their own conditions, we know the challenge is a big one,” Williamson further said.
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