Ahead of the match, captain Kane Williamson said, “A lot of learning experiences to be had. Certainly this is one of them, being exposed in these conditions. They are suited to spin bowling so we are hoping they can play a big part in the series.” Williamson talked a lot about the spin and its significance upon the match.
“Spin will be a big part of the series. If you look at the last couple of years I suppose most games are like this. It’s been runs and wickets and things have happened quite quickly, so I believe playing positive cricket is important. How spinners bowl will be important. But at the same time we are hoping for a bit of reverse swing and that certainly brings the seamers into it. We will see how things unfold,” he said.
The Kiwi skipper also believes that lessons which they learnt from 2016 World T20 will act as stepping stones on their way to winning. “They (India) have got very good spinners, naturally very experienced in these conditions. We have some exciting young talent. We showed that in the T20 World Cup.That was huge for us. Yes, the formats are different, but I am hoping we can build on from those experiences,” he said.
Such confidence and hopes from the captain can be expected as New Zealand had reached the semi-finals of 2016 ICC World T20 and Mitchell Santner (4/11 in 4 overs) had recorded the best figures by a Kiwi spinner in T20s en route to their knock-out stage appearance. Those figures emerged as the winning points against India in Nagpur which was well supported by Ish Sodhi, who took three wickets.
The trio of kiwi spinners Ish Sodhi, Mark Craig and Mitchell Santner may stand as a strong wall against team India.Although, even Team India is no less prepared.