Wellington: Ahead of the first Test against India, New Zeland skipper Kane Williamson said the Men in Blue are a world-class side with a world-class pace unit that has performed in all conditions.
India`s pace battery consisting of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav has gained respect around the world for their performances in recent years. “India have a world-class side, world-class pace attack that have performed in all conditions. So, really an exciting opportunity for our team but once again it is trying to assist the conditions as best we can and commit our plans which ultimately gives us the best chance of good results,” Williamson told reporters at the pre-match conference on Wednesday (February 19).
In the seven ICC World Test Championship (WTC) matches so far, India have won all the games and bowlers have played a crucial role in all these clashes at home and away, irrespective of the conditions.
The recent addition to India`s pace attack is Navdeep Saini, who will earn his maiden call in the Test at the back of his performance in T20I and ODI series against Kiwis. Saini played two T20Is and as many ODIs in which he scalped only two wickets but he bowled with great line and length and was economical too.
Talking about the conditions at the Basin Reserve, the Kiwi skipper said, “it does tend to provide a bit of movement and assistance for the fast bowlers” and batsmen have to be really careful while leaving the ball, keeping in mind of their off-stump.
“Here in New Zealand, it does tend to provide a bit of movement and assistance for the fast bowlers. Leaving the ball well and knowing your off-stump is the important part to most, I guess, top-order batsmen`s games. So, I suppose adapting to what`s in front of us is the most important thing,” Williamson said.
Commenting on the WTC, the number three batsman of the host side said it is the right step but it is not perfect at all and it will develop with the time. “If you are playing good cricket and you are winning cricket games then the points coming a little bit more. The Test Championship is definitely a step in the right direction and not perfect but I`m sure that the first year or two there will always be efforts to continue to make it a better product. We are all keen to see how it falls and I`m sure it will develop over time,” Williamson said.
Kiwis are hosting India for a two-match Test series which is a part of ICC`s WTC.
India, with 360 points, are at the top of the WTC table, having won all their seven matches.
The first Test between the two teams will be played at Basin Reserve in Wellington from February 21.