The Test series between India and New Zealand is about to commence from next week and the Black Caps are working hard to prove a point on this tour. During the Test series against South Africa, the Indian tracks were rank-turners on which the Indian spinners crushed the South African batting line-up.
Performing well on Indian tracks is always a big challenge for visitors from outside the subcontinent and the New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is aware of the threat which the Indian spinners can pose, especially, Ravichandran Ashwin.
But Hesson is planning accordingly by bringing in Luke Ronchi to the opening slot.
Hesson acknowledged the difficulty in Indian tracks and said, “It's not your traditional New Zealand opener that you require over there; you need guys who can score against spin, find ways to rotate the strike and keep the game moving,” the New Zealand coach was quoted saying to stuff.co.nz. "It does [bring Ronchi into the mix]. Luke's there as a back-up batsman as well as a back-up keeper. His ability against spin certainly makes him an option”.
Ronchi last played a Test match last year against England at Headingley where he slammed a swashbuckling 88 off 70 balls. His inclusion will be a change from the regular New Zealand opening pair of Tom Latham and Martin Guptill, but Hesson backed his plan by saying, “If you've got two left-handers against Ashwin at the top it's going to be a big challenge for us. We have to assess conditions and pick what we think is the right mix”.
Hesson is highly impressed with the three spinners of Black Caps - Mark Craig, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, who over the years, have developed into productive customers for his team.
Hesson is confident about the success of his three spinners, "They're a young spin-bowling group. Probably Ish and Mitch have found white-ball cricket a little easier than Test cricket," Hesson said. "They're both evolving nicely and it's about giving them opportunity.”
"I've been really pleased with the way Mark Craig has come back from last season. He's made a few changes technically and the ball seems to be coming out really nicely."
"Seamers if anything might bowl two-three overs up front and it's more likely they're going to have spin at one end to start with if they're going to play three of them”
New Zealand are scheduled to play a three-day tour match against Mumbai in Delhi between September 16 and 18.
The first Test of the tour will be held in Kanpur followed by the second and third Tests in Kolkata and Indore from September 30 and October 8 respectively.Published 12 Sep 2016, 13:20 IST