New Zealand stand-in skipper Mitchell Santner feels it is tough to beat India in their home conditions and knows that spin will play a big role in the upcoming Test series.
Rohit’s 56-run knock followed by Axar Patel’s three-wicket haul helped India defeat New Zealand by 73 runs in the third and final T20I here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. India and New Zealand will now lock horns in the two-match Test series which gets underway from Thursday.
“It doesn’t matter what format you come up against India, they’re a tough challenge to beat. We saw that in 2016. Hopefully, the boys are ready for the first Test in Kanpur. It’s a quick turnaround again. We have some good spinners, we know spin will play a big part. It’s about just trying to grind out as much as possible,” said Santner during the post-match press conference.
“We’ve seen how good Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar Patel can be in these conditions. We’ve got guys like Ajaz and Somerville that are pretty eager to see some spinning wickets as spinners do coming from New Zealand,” he added.
With the win on Sunday, India won the three-match series 3-0 and Santner pointed out that New Zealand were good in patches and failed to get wickets upfront.
“It was a challenging series. It’s always challenging to come to India and play a really good side. We were good in patches. The challenge for us was to get wickets at the top and we couldn’t throughout the series,” said Santner.
“It’s been a challenge. It’s been a quick turnaround after the World Cup. But we pride ourselves on turning up and playing some good cricket against a very good Indian side and win a series in India. It’s tough to do and they showed once again that it’s a tough challenge.
“But credit the way Rohit and KL batted at the top and backed up throughout the game. We had our chances, but the conditions changed in every game and dew played a major factor,” he signed off.