New Zealand coach Gary Stead believes that the upcoming Test series against India will not see rank turners like the ones that were used in the series against England earlier this year.
At the same time, however, he was quick to add that if the conditions so demand, his team will not hesitate playing three specialist spinners in the XI.
The first Test begins at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium on Thursday.
Aware of the challenge of playing Test cricket on Indian pitches, Stead, addressing a media conference on Tuesday, said: “You have to look and realise how teams come here often and don’t win.That’s the enormity of the challenge.
“The traditional way of playing four seamers and one part-time spinner can’t be the way to go over here.You may see three spinners playing in this game and that will be decided once we have a look at the surface.”
During England’s visit to India, Joe Root’s team were like a cat on a hot tin roof as the pitches in Ahmedabad in particular seemed to be too difficult for the visiting batsmen.
The New Zealand coach highlighted the importance of changing their approach according to the conditions but insisted that the basics would remain the same.
“From our perspective, we have to change the way we play but also stick to some of the key principles of Test cricket.We will try to be competitive for long, long periods of time.”
Asked if he would speak to the groundsmen in Kanpur, Stead cheekily replied: “I don’t think I really get to have a say in that.”
On a serious note, however, the 49-year-old explained why he thought the conditions would not be the same as they were in England’s case.
“Look, there’s no doubt those were challenging conditions, but the difference is that we have two Tests at two
different venues and they (England) were playing multiple Tests at the same ground (two in Chennai and two in Ahmedabad).”
“We know there will be differences as in Kanpur you will have black clay and in Wankhede (Mumbai), you will have red clay.These are certain adaptations that we have to make,” the coach said.
Stead also played down the issue of there being no practice games ahead of the Test series.“In this Covid world, it is difficult to get practice games… India too are coming on the back of T20s and are on a similar boat.”
While New Zealand will be missing the services of pace spearhead Trent Boult, India too will be without many of their first-choice Test players.Regular Test captain Virat Kohli (first Test), Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested.