IND v NZ: Looking forward to the spin challenge in Tests - Santner

Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner says he and the other New Zealand spinners are eagerly waiting to bowl on the spin-friendly tracks during the Test series.

Mitchell Santner served as the captain of the New Zealand team in the third T20I in Kolkata.   -  Getty Images

New Zealand left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner and his spin colleagues are eagerly waiting to bowl on friendly tracks in the Test series against India.

“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,” Santner said at a virtual press conference after India’s 3-0 series win in the T20I series.

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“We’ve seen how good Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar Patel can be in these conditions. We’ve got guys like Ajaz (Patel) and (Willliam) Somerville who are pretty eager to see some spinning wickets.”

‘Tough challenge’

Santner is well aware of the tough challenges in India as he was quick to recall New Zealand’s 2016-17 tour when it suffered a 3-0 thrashing in Tests beginning with the Kanpur Test. It later went on to lose the five-match ODI series 3-2.

“It doesn’t matter what format you come up against India, they’re a tough challenge to beat. We saw that in 2016.”

Santner stood in as captain in the third and final T20 of the series here at Eden Gardens on Sunday. “It’s been a quick turnaround from the World Cup. But we pride ourselves on turning up and play some good cricket against a very good Indian side and win a series.

‘Good in patches’

“It’s tough to do and they showed once again that it’s a tough challenge to come to India and play a really good side. We were good in patches.”

Opting to bat, Rohit Sharma struck 56 off 31 balls, his third successive half-century. He was adjudged man-of-the-series for being the top run-getter. “The challenge for us was to get wickets at the top and we couldn’t throughout the series. But credit [to them] the way Rohit and K. L. batted at the top.

“We had our chances, but the conditions changed in every game and dew played a major factor. And then again tonight (Sunday), it was there, but it didn’t get any worse. We were outdone this series but we’re looking forward to the 12 months towards the next World Cup,” he signed off.

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