NAGPUR: New Zealand is wary of the threat Indian spinners could pose for its batsmen in the World Twenty20 Super 10 opener, captain Kane Williamson said on Monday.
The World T20 qualifying games saw the ball turn. That could magnify the challenge in batting against India’s Ravichandran Ashwin-led spin attack that also boasts all-rounders Yuvraj Singh and Ravindra Jadeja.
“The pitch will be on the slow side and perhaps take a little turn,” said Williamson.“In Indian conditions we can expect spin to play a big part and it’s important that we adjust our game accordingly,” he further added.
It is worth mentioning that the Nagpur pitch was rated “poor” by the International Cricket Council after a Test against South Africa ended in three days last year. New Zealand have the added challenge of adjusting quickly to the format as their last engagement was a Test series against Australia, but the Kiwi skipper played down this concern.
New Zealand and the hosts India lock horns in the Super 10 opener. The former has always dominated the latter in the WT20 contests.
However, Williamson winnowed out the stat. “I don’t think our previous record has any meaning. We go into the match tomorrow with a clean slate. India is a strong side and Twenty20 cricket is fickle in nature,” he commented.
Dhoni’s men are being termed the favorites to win their second World T20 title. Their first came after India beat Pakistan by 5 runs in the nail-biting final of the inaugural WT20.
India enter the global T20 tournament on the back of a successful Asia Cup T20 campaign that succeeded a 0-3 series victory Down Under.
India’s star one-down batsman Virat Kohli has led the way for the men in blue, scoring 352 runs in eight T20 games at a strike-rate of 134 and an average of 117.33.
“We’re pretty confident after winning 10 of 11 games and hope to take that momentum into the World Twenty20,” Kohli said. “This is going to be far more challenging. This is a big event and the whole feeling, vibe is different.”
India and New Zealand are with Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh in Group 2.