Indore pitch likely to offer assistance to spinners, says Williamson
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who is likely to make a comeback after missing the Kolkata Test due to a flu, believes that the Indore wicket should assist the spinners. This could mean Ish Sodhi, who has been working hard on the nets on his variations, might get a go ahead of Matt Henry or Neil Wagner.
The Indore wicket is likely to crack as the game progresses, and that could lead to the visitors playing three spinners in the final eleven. But Williamson said that the final decision would be taken after having a look at the surface once again.
Taking a call on the final eleven would not be easy for Williamson since Matt Henry was the stand out performer for New Zealand, taking six for 105 in Kolkata. Also, Wagner’s ability to make the old ball move is something that New Zealand would miss if Sodhi gets to play ahead of him.
Williamson mentioned in the pre-match press conference: "It's tough to say. Looking at the pitch yesterday it was quite bare at both ends. In saying that, there was a lot of weather around and it was a bit soft, so we want to have another look. We are yet to decide on the balance we'll go with."
Last three days in Indore have witnessed heavy rains and has led to a drop in the temperature levels as compared to Kolkata, which could work in favour of the Kiwis.
Cricket writer, Chetan Narula, tweeted a picture of the Indore pitch mentioning that the surface “looks a lot like the one in Kanpur.”
A total of over 300 in the first innings has been a match-winning one in the first two Tests, and Williamson felt the onus will be on his batsmen to put up a score above 350 in the first innings, if New Zealand bats first.
"Certainly in the last two games if we could have pushed up our first innings total it would have helped a huge amount,” Williamson said.
WIlliamson also talked about the conditions playing a defining factor for both the sides in the first two Test.
Williamson told the press: “You are presented with surfaces that perhaps don't require those 550-run first innings scores where batsmen look pretty. It is sometimes a matter of doing it tough.”
"At the moment that 300 mark seems to be a pretty effective first innings total. It hasn't been [a series] where batters have shot 100s. Batsmen making 80 or above have made a significant contribution."
Williamson backed his batsmen and felt that they had performed well despite not having much experience in sub-continent conditions.
"They are senior players and you certainly back them to put out the performances. It's not easy but they are working hard. He was also optimistic about the senior pros to deliver in the games ahead.
"There have been good performances from the likes of Tom Latham [average 33.75 including two half centuries], a young guy who hasn't spent much time playing in this part of the world," Williamson said.