Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - With rains around, not sure of the conditions - Southee. "Hopefully Gary [Stead] and Kane [Williamson] can have a look at the look at the wicket this afternoon."
"Hopefully Gary [Stead] and Kane [Williamson] can have a look at the look at the wicket this afternoon."
Tim Southee admitted that the build-up to the Mumbai Test was different to what any of the players had been expecting. The unseasonal rains in the city have, to some effect, ensured no one is as yet talking about the possibility of the Test Champions actually winning a Test series in India, something that's comfortably remained well outside the realms of possibility since Alastair Cook's side won here in 2012.
Expectations in the visiting camp remain tempered and strategies are yet to be formulated with the teams still unsure of what the 22-yards at the Wankhede Stadium, covered up for now, has in store. Southee, the veteran fast bowler, opined that given both teams are facing a similar predicament of not getting outdoor practice sessions, adaptability would be a major differentiator.
“It'll probably be under covers again today and that's something we're gonna have to look at when we get down to the ground tomorrow. Hopefully Gary [Stead] and Kane [Williamson] can have a look at the look at the wicket this afternoon. But yeah, it's a different lead in to what we're all expecting. No one was expecting too much rain in the leadup but that's just something we're gonna have to adapt to going forward over the next next five six days,” Southee said.
One of the consequences of the prevailing overcast conditions is the possibility that could bring New Zealand's seamers more into the play especially at the start of the Test but Southee remained unsure if the cause and effect situation would hold ground.
“That's something we don't know too much about right now,” he said. “We won't know if it's going to swing until we're out there. So that's just something we're going to have to adapt to as bowlers. You go and you're trying to assess conditions as quickly as possible and it's no different. Yes there's been a bit of rain around and the wickets have been under covers, so it may offer a little bit more but who knows. That's something we're gonna have to have to adapt to.
“And I guess there's not much you can do about it [the lack of practice and acclimatisation]. For us bowlers it's actually quite nice to let the body have a bit of a rest and freshen up but you know, get up for another Test match. But I guess as players you just back your previous experiences. There's no excuse. We've all played enough cricket to be able to front up tomorrow when you go to the field. But that's been the same for both sides in the year. India haven't been able to train outdoors either so it's just something both sides will have to adapt to.”
Meanwhile, Southee insisted that the form of New Zealand's middle-order anchored by Ross Taylor was not a concern going into the decisive Test. Between them, Taylor, Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell managed a total of 31 runs across two innings, their second innings failings in particular giving India a foothold to press for victory from.
“No I don't think it's a concern,” Southee said. “As we've seen in this part of the world, it can be tough to start. And there was periods for both sides, we were able to take wickets and take it a few at a time, so it's not easy to start in these conditions.
“Henry Nicholls has scored runs in this part of the world, Ross Taylor has experience. And then you've got a couple of guys who haven't played a lot in this part of the world so I don't think it's a concern at all. I think that they are all quality players and they've shown they can perform at this level.
“I think we gained a lot out of our efforts in Kanpur but as a side we know that last week's happened. We're just looking forward to a new challenge here in Mumbai. Guys would have got a lot out of being able to hang off for a draw. But turning up on day five and all three results possible was exciting. I think it's great for Test cricket. And like I said it's great for the belief in our side to be able to hang on there at the end. But yeah, a new challenge awaits over the coming five days.”