Kolkata: New Zealand batter Ross Taylor believes playing India in their backyard is one of the toughest challenges for any side but refused to give insights about their plan to tackle premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin during the upcoming Test series.
India and inaugural World Test champions New Zealand will square off in a two-Test series beginning on November 25 in Kanpur. The contest is part of the second WTC cycle.
”Definitely looking forward to, definitely going to be a challenge. I think there is no harder assignment than playing India at home or Australia away. They are probably the two toughest challenges in Test cricket at the moment.
”But as a group, we are looking forward to that and we know we are the underdogs but we will be looking forward to putting in a good performance,” Taylor said on Sunday.
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”Any time you play India at home, you will always gonna be the underdogs whether you are world no.1 or not.” The veteran Kiwi batter said tacking Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Axar Patel will be key to New Zealand’s success in the Test series.
”I don’t want to give my secrets away just here (on being asked what’s his plan for Ashwin). I don’t know what lineup India decide to go with, Axar Patel played a big role against England,” Taylor said in a virtual press conference.
”Now they are going to play three spinners or two spinners Ashwin will be one of them. They are very good bowlers, especially in these conditions and how we will play them, will play a big part in how the series is gonna go.”
He also advised New Zealand batters to be wary of India’s pace attack. ”Fast bowling remains a main element with the new ball and reverse swing. But spin more often plays a big part over here, so we could be naive if we assume only spin will play a key part.
”We still gonna have to face a quality seam bowling lineup and reverse swing. I think we should also be worried about that but spin is gonna play a big proportion of how we will be going to play the Test,” Taylor said. ”You have to put some pressure back on the bowlers. If I get the opportunity, I could bring back the slog sweep shot now and then.”
Taylor feels adapting to the conditions will also play a big role in deciding their fate in the series. ”They are resting a couple of players but they are still a formidable side. The way we adapt to these conditions is going to be the key. These conditions are not foreign to us, some of the guys have played many times here before. We will be looking forward to hopefully using those experience but we know it’s gonna be tough.”