New Delhi: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and coach Mike Hesson agreed that it will be "bit of scrap" for the batsmen to face Ravichandran Ashwin and other Indian spinners when the Test series gets underway from September 22. They also added that their own spinners need to adapt quickly to Indian conditions and the SG Test ball from the usual Kookaburra ball to have a say in the series.
Having won the four-match Test series 2-0 in West Indies, India are placed at No. 2 in the ICC Test Rankings. At home, India has been all the more dominant. In recent years, India have prepared rank turners in the longest format to trouble the opposition at home. In the last six years, they have won seven out of eight series at home, while their only defeat during this period was against England in 2012-13, when they lost 2-1 after their spin-ploy backfired.
"It's a tough place to play, particularly in recent years," Williamson told Reuters on Tuesday (September 13). "The pitches have been very tricky and you throw in world class spinners, the challenge is very tough."
However, the New Zealand middle order batsman chose to look at the positives and added, "At the same time, we see it as a very exciting opportunity… You want to be playing the best in their backyard and the guys are excited and looking forward to the challenge."
The visitors have the likes of Ish Sodhi, Mark Craig and Mitchell Santner in their line-up, but it will also be a massive test for their batsmen – a young line-up that is yet to gain credible success in Test cricket.
New Zealand were a part of the first-ever day-night Test played in Adelaide last year, and the 26-year old said that it was a good experience. Earlier, the possibility of having a pink-ball Test between India and New Zealand was discussed, before the Board of Control for Cricket in India stated that idea was rejected by their counterparts.
"Having played one, we were obviously quite happy to play one but for some reason, it was deemed not appropriate. Certainly (it) was not something that came from our camp," he clarified. The two sides will now play three Tests in traditional format, starting on September 22 in Kanpur. The second and third Test between the two sides will be played at Kolkata's Eden Gardens and Indore respectively.