New Zealand are due to begin their second World Test Championship (WTC) campaign with a two-match Test series against India, beginning November 25 in Kanpur.
On the eve of the opening Test, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson said he expects spin to play a big role in the red-ball series and the visitors might go with more spinning options in their playing XI.
"I guess everybody is looking at different ways to be effective, whether it is the new ball for a seamer or spinner in terms of their role. Like you mentioned, the Indian side has new players from their last series, so there are different factors to take into account. For us, it is about being well prepared and being as effective as possible as a bowling unit," said Williamson during a virtual pre-match press conference, when ANI asked whether Neil Wagner can be handed the new ball.
Talking about fielding more spinners, Williamson said: "I suppose it is important to adapt and adjust and see what might be the most effective. As we have seen in this part of the world, the spin component has been very large and it has played a big role in changing the complexion of the game. So I am sure both sides will be aware of that and looking to play strong spin component."
The BlackCaps are coming into the Test series after suffering a 3-0 whitewash in the T20I series. Williamson wasn’t part of the T20I side as he had taken a break from the series to prepare for the red-ball challenge.
"The preparation has been really good, guys have been able to gain some practice. All the Test players are excited to be back together. I am sure throughout the whole series spin component will be a factor and it will be no different in Kanpur. It will be about assessing the conditions as quickly as possible," said Williamson.
"Look, very challenging schedule after a World Cup, and credit to both teams for putting their best foot forward and really competing in a big way. I suppose when you do have different formats, World Cups, and WTC, focuses of sides gears towards that. It is natural and all teams look to do that. It was special to have crowds facing the games. We are all fortunate to be here and playing international cricket," he added.
Earlier this year, New Zealand defeated India in Southampton to win the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship. However, Williamson doesn’t think the tourists start the series as favourites.
"No, I do not think we are favourites. The big strength of Indian cricket is its depth and we have seen that over the years. India has great knowledge of their own conditions, we know the challenge is a big one," he concluded.
(With ANI inputs)