Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, who hit the winning runs in the WTC final in Southampton earlier this year, has made plans again to face Ravichandran Ashwin – this time in Indian conditions – but refused to open more about it ahead of the Test series.
India host New Zealand in a 2-Test series, starting Thursday in Kanpur. Ashwin, who didn’t play a single Test on the England tour recently, will be the key player for India. He will have Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in support.
Ross Taylor said that the way the Kiwi batters tackle India’s spin threat could well be the differentiating factor in the outcome of the series.
“I don’t want to give my secrets away just here (on being asked what’s his plan for Ashwin). I don’t know what lineup India decide to go with, Axar Patel played a big role against England,” Ross Taylor said in a virtual press conference.
“Now they are going to play three spinners or two spinners, obviously Ashwin will be one of them. They are very good bowlers, especially in these conditions and how we will play them, will play a big part in how the series is gonna go.”
Fast bowling still remains the main element with the new ball: Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor opined that the New Zealand batters also need to be wary of India pace-attack. Although Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested, India have immense experience and energy in the form of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna.
The 37-year-old asserted that facing new ball swing and reverse swing is going to be a tough challenge.
“Fast bowling still remains a main element with the new ball and reverse swing. But spin more often plays a big part over here, so we could be naive if we assume only spin will play a key part,” Taylor said.
“We still gonna have to face a quality seam bowling lineup and reverse swing. I think we should also be worried about that but spin is gonna play a big proportion of how we will be going to play the Test.
“You have to put some pressure back on the bowlers. If I get the opportunity, I could bring back the slog sweep shot every now and then,” the right-hander added.
India have taken a 2-0 unassailable lead in the 3-match T20I series, with the last match to be played on Sunday. The following two Tests will be played in Kanpur and Mumbai.