New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has opined that visiting India and winning Test matches in the country is “one of world cricket’s greatest challenges”.
The Blackcaps are all set to tour India just after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, from November 17. They will take part in three T20 International games and two Test games.
Talking about the India tour, Gary Stead said that they are under no illusion about how tough it will be facing India. He stated:
“It is one of world cricket’s greatest challenges, going to India and winning Test matches. We’re certainly under no illusions as to how tough that that will be,”
Stead acknowledged that both India and New Zealand have been playing cricket, staying in bio-bubble for a very long period of time now, and he opined that whatever team India fields will be a strong one.
“India are also in the same situation as us, they’re at the World Cup. They’ve had a long time on the road and I’m not sure what sort of team they’ll put out but we know that they’re going to be strong whoever they put out against us,”
India Have Quality Spinners, They Know How To Play In The Condition – Gary Stead
New Zealand Coach further added that India have a quality spin department, and they have a lot of experience of playing on the spin-friendly tracks.
“They have quality spinners, they know how to play in the condition so I think one of the things for us will be getting really clear on the way we play, the way we try and score and attack against their bowlers as well. So, we don’t just become sitting ducks if it is a turning wicket.”
New Zealand recently locked horns with Virat Kohli-led India in the World Test Championship, which the Blackcaps won to become the inaugural champions. Gary said that it’s always a massive challenge to face-off India.
“It’s always exciting to go to India and play in a Test series. We obviously played them at the World Test Championship and this is the, I guess started the second cycle. It’s always a massive challenge going to India so this is a really important series for us,” he said.
Gary Stead believes that New Zealand has picked good five spinners, including Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, Mitchell Santner, Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips, for the tour. He said:
“We’ve obviously picked a strong spin friendly type team. Five spinners or five people who have the ability to spin the ball.”
Stead stated that the Kiwi spinners lack of experience and the match time before the marquee India series will be a challenge for them.
“Yeah, that’s one of our challenges. They’ve been training still which has been great. Even small bubbles or even just following in, I guess nets and stuff like that. It’s yeah, it’s tough on them,”
“Hopefully they’re 10 or so days that they’ll have their before we start. That will give them the chance to get acclimatized appropriately and also they can fall back on the experiences that they’ve had in the past.
“It’s not going to be completely foreign to them. They’re not going to the subcontinent for the first time.”
Stead was asked if it is the best chance for New Zealand to beat India based on the current form, to which he replied:
“It’s hard to know until we get there that we actually get to the conditions we know we’ve got one Test in Jaipur and one in Mumbai, they may pose slightly different conditions.
Gary Stead also said that first, they get to the place, and then they try to build their plans for the series. He stated:
“Sometimes Mumbai can bounce and even seam a little bit at times. But again, until we get there and see what’s in front of us, it’s hard to know. We go into every series and we try and put our plans in place to say this is the way that we were going to try and play cricket.”