Ahead of the World Test Championship final, Ross Taylor has admitted that facing India would be tough, irrespective of who they field in Southampton. While crediting India for setting the bar high, Taylor insisted that the two-Test series against England provided BlackCaps with ideal preparation.
India were thrashed in these two sides’ last meeting in the longest format, albeit the series being in New Zealand. Ever since, then, the two sides have kept their form at the highest level, with the BlackCaps beating West Indies, Pakistan and England before the final. India, on the other hand, have handed losses to Australia and England.
One of New Zealand’s vital batting cogs, Ross Taylor, admitted that facing India would be a real challenge, irrespective of the playing XI that is out there in the final. He also hailed the Indian outfit, stating that they have world-class players throughout the line-up. On a personal note, having struggled in the opening Test against England, Taylor found his form in the second Test, where he scored an 80 against a tough English bowling attack.
"You go through the Indian line-up, all world-class players all through and whatever side they do decide to go with, they will leave out some world-class players as well. We know whatever XI we face will be very tough," Taylor said during a virtual press conference, reported India Today.
Not just that, Taylor also credited the Indian side for raising the bar in Test cricket for a long period of time and insisted that India would be a tough challenge irrespective of the conditions.
"India has been a world no.1 side and they have kept the bar really high for a long period of time, everyone in the world had to catch up to and I don't see any difference, yes we had a couple of Tests here but playing India in home, away or neutral venue will be a tough opposition.
"India has been a fantastic side for a long period of time, not only the batters but also the bowlers. They won against Australia during a home summer, it was great to watch...," he said.
Luckily for New Zealand, they faced England in a two-match Test series, which served as a warm-up to the final, that starts on Friday. Taylor stated that playing against England helped the BlackCaps side get some match-preparation in the conditions.
"It is an ideal preparation having two tests against England in these conditions, we are very lucky to manage to get these two matches and obviously the guys got some match preparation in these conditions, can't think of anything better," he said.
The BlackCaps, during the course of their Test series against England, gave a debut to Devon Conway, who made an instant impact in the whites. However, Taylor was aware of the challenge and stated that they have to put the best foot forward.
"Playing England in these conditions was a great Test, we learned a lot but as with everything in cricket, whatever you do first, you gotta do well and the team that puts the best foot forward will go a long away to sitting out in what hopefully is a great series.
"...the whole New Zealand side is excited and it is going great occasion to be playing against India who has been world no 1 for 5-6 years. They going to be really hard opposition to play against but at the same time we are looking forward to that."