Ross Taylor tight-lipped on plans to tackle Ashwin threat in Test series

The veteran Kiwi batter kept New Zealand's plans for Ashwin under a lid ahead of the first Test that begins in Kanpur on Thursday.

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be the main threat for New Zealand in its two-Test series in India.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Experienced New Zealand batter Ross Taylor has said that playing India on its home soil is one of the toughest challenges and his team will be the ‘underdogs’ in the upcoming two-Test series, starting in Kanpur on November 25.

Taylor, who has been out of action after New Zealand’s World Test Championship victory in June, looks forward to playing international cricket again in the upcoming series.

“Definitely, it’s going to be a challenge. I think there is no harder assignment than playing India at home or Australia away. They are probably the two toughest challenges in Test cricket at the moment,” said Taylor at a virtual press conference on Sunday.

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“We will be looking forward to putting up a good performance."

Asked about his plan for ace Indian spinner R. Ashwin, Taylor said, “I don't want to give my secrets away just here. I don't know what line-up India decides to go with. Axar Patel played a big role against England.

“Now (whether) they are going to play three spinners or two spinners, obviously Ashwin will be one of them. They are very good bowlers, especially in these conditions, and how we will play them will play a big part in how the series is going to go.”

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Taylor said he might employ his slog sweep to put some pressure back on the Indian spinners.

According to Taylor, it would not be prudent to focus only on playing the home spinners. “Fast bowling still remains a main element with the new ball and reverse swing. But spin more often plays a big part over here. So we could be naive if we assume only spin will play a key part.”

Taylor said adapting to different playing conditions in Kanpur and Mumbai would be a key factor for the Kiwis.

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