For that, Mitchell Santner will have to play a key role along with spinner Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville, who form a potent spin trio for the Black Caps. Uncapped all-rounder Rachin Ravindra could also get a look in.
Mitchell Santner, who captained the Kiwis in the third T20I in Kolkata, hailed India’s spin trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, and added that the Kiwis spinners are also eager to bowl on spin-friendly surfaces.
“Hopefully the boys are ready for the first Test in Kanpur. It’s a quick turnaround again. We have some good spinners, we know spin will play a big part. It’s about just trying to grind out as much as possible,” Mitchell Santner said at a virtual press conference after the T20I defeat in Kolkata.
“We’ve seen how good Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar Patel can be in these conditions. We’ve got guys like Ajaz (Patel) and (Willliam) Somerville who are pretty eager to see some spinning wickets.”
Doesn’t matter the format; India are a tough challenge to beat: Mitchell Santner
Mitchell Santner was part of the Kiwi side, which was thrashed 3-0 in the 2016 Test series. He’d taken 10 wickets then and gained plenty of valuable experience.
He asserted that India are a dominant force at home – India haven’t lost a home Test series in 8 years – and will present a tough challenge to the World Test Champions.
“It doesn’t matter what format you come up against India, they’re a tough challenge to beat. We saw that in 2016,” he added.
New Zealand have had a jam-packed schedule, but the Black Caps are ready to give their all in the Test series, the spinner said.
“It’s been a quick turnaround from the World Cup. But we pride ourselves on turning up and play some good cricket against a very good Indian side and win a series,” the 29-year-old said.
New Zealand will be without the services of Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme, who have both made themselves unavailable for the Test series.