Former India pacer Zaheer Khan feels that New Zealand's squad were not well equipped to play in spin-friendly Indian conditions. The Blackcaps suffered a comprehensive 372-run defeat in the second Test and lost the series by a 1-0 margin.
New Zealand were behind right from the start in the second Test and struggled on a surface that boasted turn from Day 1 itself. They were bundled out for 62, which marked the lowest ever Test total in India.
Zaheer noted that over the course of the series, the bowling attack was often spearheaded by one bowler, who lacked support from the others. While speaking on Cricbuzz, he said:
"New Zealand, while competing in Indian conditions were not at their best, they lacked something. They did not have support in the bowling department, then Williamson was not there in the second Test. New Zealand did not have the resources to compete in India. But you could not underestimate this team because they came here after winning the WTC. This is a team that always finds a way in any condition."
New Zealand will return to their familiar home conditions where they host Bangladesh for a two-match Test series.
It was a matter of when for India today: Zaheer
After wrapping up the win in just over 11 overs courtesy of a sharp spell by Jayant Yadav, Zaheer felt that the 31-year old provides more tactical flexibility to the squad. He claimed that two off-spinners could be fielded if the opposition has more left-handers in their batting unit. Zaheer added:
"It was a matter of when for India today, Jayant Yadav bowled a brilliant spell, looked in a great rhythm. Both off-spinners picking 4 wickets is a positive in terms of the future. In the current template, where 5 bowlers play, there is a tactical option where you have 2 attacking left-arm spinners in Jadeja and Axar and now there is this option where you can play Ashwin and Jayant if the opposition has quite a few left-handed batsmen."
Such a tactical experiment is likely to only be tested out in home conditions. The team are slated to proceed with their one spinner approach for overseas tours, a strategy that brought them a lot of success in England.
India are set to travel to South Africa for a three-Test series starting on the 17th of December. With South African pitches offering a lot more pace and bounce, it will be interesting to see which bowling combination is employed.