'It can't be the way to go over here': New Zealand coach Gary Stead hints at team's playing XI strategy against India
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead threw a hint at how they might shape their playing XI for the opening Test matches against India in Kanpur's Green Park stadium on November 25, as the World Test Champions men begin their title defence campaign against the finalist from previous cycle. New Zealand will play two Tests in the series which will kick off the second cycle of WTC.
Spin has been the dominant factor in Indian conditions with Axar Patel and R Ashwin showing the way in the last Test series played in the country where the spinners led the hosts to a 3-1 series win.
"You have to look and realise how teams come here often and don't win. That's the enormity of obvious challenge," Stead said during a media conference outlining what playing Test matches in India mean.
"The traditional way of playing four seamers and one part-time spinner can't be the way to go over here. You may see three spinners playing in this game and that will be decided once we have a look at the surface," Stead said.
Ajaz Patel, Mitchell Santner, Rachin Ravindra, Will Somerville and Will Young are the spinners who are part of the New Zealand Test squad
"From our perspective, we have to change the way we play but also sticking to some of the key principles of Test cricket. We will try to be competitive for long long periods of time," he added.
Stead also expects different kind of pitches from England series explaining that in the last Test series in India, two back-to-back matches were played at the same venue - two in Chennai and two in Ahmedabad.
"On a serious note, he said that England series was a different ball game due to multiple Test matches at the same venue. Look, there's no doubt those were challenging conditions but the difference is that we have two Tests at two different venues and they (England) were playing multiple Tests at the same ground (two in Chennai and two in Ahmedabad)."
"We know there will be differences as in Kanpur you will have black clay and in Wankhede, you will have red clay. These are certain adaptations that we have to make," the coach explained.