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NZ prepare for onerous Indian Test series

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/09/2016

File photo of New Zealand's Kane Williamson during a test match with Zimbabwe. © JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/Getty Images File photo of New Zealand's Kane Williamson during a test match with Zimbabwe. The Black Caps have pointed to mastering the SG cricket ball as the first step towards a historic Test series win in India.

The squad arrived in a sweltering New Delhi on Monday before the first of three Tests starting next Thursday in Kanpur.

They will also play a Mumbai XI in a three day warm-up match from Friday.

Coach Mike Hesson said his side would need to quickly adapt to use of the SG ball, after recently using the Kookaburra ball.

The SG has little swing but retains its seam, giving spin bowlers an edge on pitches with good turn.

Hesson's side would need to find ways to create wicket opportunities while adjusting to new conditions.

The Black Caps have taken three spinners to the subcontinent in Mark Craig, Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi.

They have never won a Test series in India.

"Even in the last couple of years, a number of overseas spinners have done well in the conditions so we certainly back our spin bowling group," Hesson said.

"There's a bit of change there, little bit of change around seam angles which are different over here."

Skipper Kane Williamson agreed.

He expected the Indians to look to spin bowlers Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin as a natural advantage going into the series.

"The pitches have been very tricky and you throw in world-class spinners, and the challenge is very tough," the 26-year-old Williamson said.

"No doubt it'll be a bit of a scrap (and) spin from both teams will play a big part."

The Black Caps have arrived in India after two-Test series against Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The side cruised to victory in both Tests against Zimbabwe but struggled against a superior Proteas outfit, losing one Test and drawing the other.

However Williamson said the tour of India would be hardest of all.

"We know it'll be a challenge, India in their home conditions is one of the toughest challenges in the game," the batsman said.

"That's why we have that drive of playing international cricket, because you want to be playing the best in their own backyards."

Bowler Doug Bracewell echoed his captain's remarks, saying there was no harder place to tour than the subcontinent.

The team were pumped to go out and embrace the challenge.

"It would be bloody nice to get a Test series win over here and create a bit of history," the 25-year-old said.

"It's probably one of the toughest tours."

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