Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Williamson wary of the straighter delivery amidst spin preparation. Williamson admitted to India's spin strength and felt his batters needed to identify different methods to deal with that and score runs.
Williamson admitted to India's spin strength and felt his batters needed to identify different methods to deal with that and score runs.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson acknowledged the big spin test ahead of his team in the two-Test series, starting on Thursday (November 25), repeatedly insisting that his players were preparing as well as they could for it. Such has been the gruelling schedule that the Test squad members have travelled with the T20I side to the venues of the games in the just-concluded white-ball series and getting in practice on match days. The complete Test unit has had just two days of training together until the eve of the first fixture in Kanpur.
While talking about preparing for the spin challenge, Williamson also highlighted the need to be alert to deliveries that go straighter while others turn as sharply as anticipated.
“I suppose on some of these surfaces, the condition of the ball – whether it is new or old – is definitely a big factor and I guess one of the challenges is when you see the ball spin in such a big way and then the next one goes straight,” Williamson said on the eve of the Test on Wednesday (November 24). “It’s about trying to come up with a game plan to accommodate that as well as you can while looking to score.
“Obviously a number of teams have come here in the past and faced similar challenges, so there’s the expectation that it’ll not be too different and there’ll be a large spin component throughout the series. So the guys have been trying to prepare as well as they can and they’re looking forward to the challenge,” he added.
The last fixture at Green Park, Kanpur – in 2016 – saw spin play a massive role as R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja accounted for 16 of the 20 wickets to fall. Coincidentally it was New Zealand at the receiving end of the spin barrage back then too. Williamson admitted to India’s spin strength and felt his batters needed to identify different methods to deal with that and score runs. Earlier this year, England attempted to sweep their way out of trouble against the spinners in Chennai and Ahmedabad without too much success.
“We know the strength of the Indian spin bowlers. They’ve been fantastic for a long time. For us it is about looking to come up with different methods and ways to score and try and be effective and build those partnerships. The ways will be slightly different from one another [for each player]. We’re trying to prepare as well as we can for the challenges that are coming up,” Williamson said.
New Zealand themselves could rely fairly heavily on their spinners, given India’s recent troubles against turn across formats. Ajinkya Rahane deflected the same concern during the home series against England earlier this year, citing the lack of matches India had played at home in the lead up to that series. The New Zealand Tests will be their first home Test assignment since that series.
“The spin factor is going to be there and someone like Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville will be a big part of our bowling attack, particularly in these conditions,” Williamson said. Ajaz hasn’t played in a competitive red-ball fixture since New Zealand’s win over England in Birmingham in June this year, while Somerville’s last first-class outing came in the first week of April in the Plunket Shield. But Ajaz nevertheless admitted to being excited to strike up a partnership with Somerville again in conditions that will suit both the spinners.
“We feed off each other quite well. He [Somerville] offers that height and bounce, whereas I offer that low skid and as a left-arm spinner and a right-arm off-spinner, we’re both turning it in different ways,” Ajaz said in the lead-up to the game. “It’s always cool to be playing together. There will be times when he’s attacking and other times when I’m attacking and vice versa. We have a good understanding now we’ve played a few games together, so it’s exciting to kind of have the opportunity to go back out there and do it again.”
Whether Williamson picks all his pace options or resorts to a spin allrounder in his side remains to be seen, but the New Zealand skipper believes even his seamers will have a role to play.
“There’ll be an important role for us in seam bowling as well over here if there’s reverse swing, and trying to come up with some creative ways to take wickets is important as well,” he said.