New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner has predicted the upcoming limited overs series against India as a high-scoring affair, reasoning the nature of grounds and wickets here.
The left-arm spinner is also hoping to make it to the Black Caps squad for the limited overs series against India who last visited the country in 2014-15.
The teams are scheduled to play five-match One Day International series starting from January 23 in Napier followed by three T20 Internationals.
Santner told reporters at a special interaction organized by Star Sports on Monday, “Both teams have changed a lot since then (the 2014 tour). India have performed in England and against (Australia) in conditions similar to New Zealand. It's (depends on) how quickly they (India) can adapt to those conditions. If they can hit the ground running on those home conditions for us, it's going to make for a very interesting series. It can be a high-scoring series with the nature of grounds and wickets (on offer).”
The 26-year-old spinner further added, “Virat (Kohli - the skipper) and other Indian batsmen are scoring a lot of runs at the moment and they haven't been to New Zealand for four years. But they have played all round the country and scored runs everywhere. So they will probably like our conditions, where it's quite flat, with not a lot of turn. And obviously, if there's not a lot of swing, it (series) can be high-scoring. So the batsmen will like it and hopefully the ball swings for us.”
Meanwhile, commenting on Indian set-up, Santner said the Men in Blue already have a "strong batting line-up" but the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be key weapons for the touring side in New Zealand in the limited overs series.
He further added, “With the nature of flat wickets, the wrist spinners can spin the ball both ways. The key in ODI cricket is to get wickets in the middle (overs). The wrist spinners - they might leak a lot more runs but have the option (chance) of getting more wickets (too).”
On a personal front, Santner, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, is hoping to return to action during the India series. He further stated, “Been out for a while, its been nine months. So have been back training and cricket is not too far away. Hopefully will join the home summer and get back for this Indian series and try and get some wickets.”
The spinner also believes that the upcoming series will be a good test for both the sides and they can take momentum from the series heading into the World Cup 2019 in May.
Santner signed off by saying, “The series will be a good test for both the sides leading into the World Cup and I guess in similar conditions. Both the teams will be looking forward to the competition and to take some momentum into the World Cup.”
(With Press Trust of India Inputs)