Sat, Oct 22, 2016 | updated 09:00 AM IST

Kiwis ready for `world class` Ashwin & Co., says Williamson

Updated: Sep 13, 2016 22:28 IST
New Delhi [India] Sept.13 (ANI): Asserting that spin will play a huge factor in the upcoming tour to India, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has admitted that some of his batsmen will face a tough challenge against Ravichandran Ashwin and other Indian spinners during the three-match series, starting from September 22 in Kanpur.

Describing Indian spinners as `world-class`, the 26-year-old, however, said they are looking forward to the upcoming series.

"India is a tough place to play, particularly, in more recent years where the pitches have been very tricky. I guess [when] you throw in world-class spinners, the challenges are very tough but at the same time we see it as a very exciting opportunity. [The] previous series' here, certainly spin played a huge part, and at times batting was difficult," Williamson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Williamson, who finished as the team's second-highest run-getter in New Zealand's recent tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa, has insisted that he was well aware of the importance of distinguishing his twin roles as leader and premier batsman in the forthcoming tour.

"I suppose you take that [captaincy] hat off and you are very much a batsman and you have a role to play in the team. I see them as slightly different things, so that to me is the focus," he said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson believes his players had drawn some experience from playing on the dry pitches of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe ahead of the series against Virat Kohli-led side.

"That [Zimbabwe tour] was very much a spin-dominant series and conditions. Although it didn't spin as much, it certainly was slower and probably similar pace that we are going to face in India. The week between the series has been about rest really and recovery, and obviously the next week-to-ten days are going to be critical to be really specific around individual game plans," said Hesson.

Expressing his confidence on New Zealand spinners, the coach called on his side to first adjust themselves according to the new pink ball and then find a way to create opportunities.

"In the last couple of years, a number of overseas spinners have done well, so we certainly back our spinning group [which is] young and inexperienced but gifted. The challenge for us is firstly in adjusting to the different ball - the SG Test is going to be completely different to what we have been operating with the Kookaburra," Hesson suggested.

"Even though we are not going to bowl like sub-continental bowlers, we do have to make sure that we find a way to create opportunities. All those three are keen learners of the game and certainly we are going to put a lot of faith in them over the coming weeks," he added.

The spin trio of Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig had managed to create a powerful impact despite their relative inexperience, having notched up a combined tally of 98 wickets from 34 Tests. (ANI)