The Indian team ticked a number of key boxes in their warm-up clash ahead of the Test series. The bowlers looked to be in good rhythm and the batsmen too hit their stride. The side has been in good form in Test cricket over the last 12 months and hence, the upcoming series against New Zealand should be a closely-fought affair. However, former Kiwi pacer Shane Bond believes the challenge will be a tricky one for Virat Kohli and team as New Zealand are an extremely hard side to beat in their own conditions.
“New Zealand is hard to beat at home. Recently, they beat England. It will be a tightly-contested series as New Zealand have great variety in their bowling attack. Neil [Wagner] will test with short balls. [Tim] Southee has got swing and [Kyle] Jamieson has both pace and swing. They are a different kind of bowling unit,” Bond was as quoted by mid-day.
He also spoke about the possible combination which could be tried by Kane Williamson. “I won’t be surprised if New Zealand don’t play a spinner. Personally, I wouldn’t have played a spinner as they will just have a holding role,” he told PTI.
“New Zealand could go in with five fast bowlers in Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kyle Jamieson and De Grandhomme.
“The wickets later on become so flat that New Zealand are really hard to beat here. I don’t think it’s going to be any different,” he said.
Speaking about Neil Wagner, Shane Bond believes that the left-arm pacer will create a lot of troubles with the short ball and how the Indians deal with this challenge will determine the result of the series.
“Neil comes in one change with short ball part coming later on. In these home conditions, Wagner is special as you don’t face this kind of bowler too often. Whenever he comes in and bowls those (bouncer) stuff, it will be challenging for India,” he observed.