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Black Caps prepare for spin examination

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/09/2016

While the Black Caps are prepared for a barrage of spin from India when the first Test begins on Thursday, they are also wary of the role swing will play at Green Park in Kanpur.

Coach Mike Hesson says his team know exactly what to expect as the prepare for the first of three Tests against world No.2 India.

"Unless some grass grows over the coming two days, I think there'll be plenty of assistance for the spinners and I think the pitch will deteriorate - as it should," Hesson said.

"We're also going to get a barrage of swing with the new ball, and reverse swing, so we're going to have to find ways of dealing with that.

"We're obviously going to have to play spin well - India have got three excellent spinners, and their part-timers are also more than useful."

The triple spin threat posed by Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra and Ravi Ashwin is one the Black Caps have prepared for, and Hesson says they've tried to keep a degree of flexibility in their approach.

"It'll be no surprise if one or two spinners open with the new ball at some stage in this series - we've prepared for it, but dealing with it out in the middle is quite a different story," he said.

"You can jump at shadows sometimes as well, and you need to adapt to whatever you're confronted with."

Hesson has decisions to make around New Zealand's batting line-up, with opener Martin Guptill out of sorts in producing innings of 15 and 0 in the recent three-day warm-up match against Mumbai.

In contrast, Luke Ronchi crafted a 114-ball century when bumped up the order to open with Guptill in the second innings.

The Indians will be without pace bowler Ishant Sharma, ruled out as he recovers from the mosquito-borne viral infection chikungunya.

The Black Caps have their own injury problems, and will be missing allrounder Jimmy Neesham, ruled out with a rib injury as well as paceman Tim Southee who returned home after hurting an ankle last week.

Hesson is backing New Zealand's own array of spinners in Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Mark Craig, despite their inexperience, to contain the Indian batsmen s the Kiwis hunt their first Test win in India for 28 years.

"Ours are talented spinners who don't have much experience, but sometimes that's a good thing - you don't have a lot of fear.

"Our three spinners have spent a lot of time talking, a lot of time making little subtle adjustments, to be as effective as they can in these conditions."

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