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IND vs NZ | Any time you play India at home, you're going to be the underdogs, says Ross Taylor

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Ross Taylor stated that India are still a formidable side despite resting a few players for the Test series

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IND vs NZ | Any time you play India at home, you're going to be the underdogs, says Ross Taylor

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SportsCafe Desk


New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has stated that playing India at their home is one of the most difficult tasks for any team. The Kane Williamson-led side will start their second WTC cycle with the two-match Test series against India, and the first match will begin on November 25 in Kanpur.

India and New Zealand will lock horns in a two-match Test series which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, November 25 in Kanpur. Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson, who were rested for the ongoing T20I series against India will be playing in the red-ball series, whereas the hosts will miss the services of captain Virat Kohli in the first Test in Kanpur. Kohli will join the squad for the second Test in Mumbai, and Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in the first Test match. 

New Zealand, who won the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) by defeating India in the final, will begin their second WTC cycle with the two-match Test series. Meanwhile, Ross Taylor has stated that India is a harder place to start the next cycle of the WTC.

 "We can say we're world champions now and that's suddenly different, trying to retain it. It's sort of a harder place to start. We started in Sri Lanka last time and we drew that series. It's going to be a great two years I'm sure," Taylor said.

Taylor last played competitive cricket in June this year, where he hit the winning runs in the final against India in the World Test Championship. The right-hand batsman is returning to international cricket after a five-month break and will be back in action against India in the two-match Test series.

Taylor stated that playing India at their home will be one of the toughest challenges for New Zealand. The 37-year-old further added that India are a formidable side despite resting a few players for the Test series.

 "We've gone so many years as underdogs. But now coming in as champions: I guess the element of surprise is gone. But any time you play India at home you're going to be the underdogs, whether you're No. 1 in the world or where they sit in international cricket at the time. They are resting a couple of players but they're still a formidable side and know these conditions really well.

"The way we adapt to these conditions is going to be the key going forward. Some of the guys have played many a time here before. We'll be looking forward to hopefully use that experience to make things slightly easier but we know it's going to be tough," the right-hander believes. 

The Blackcaps will be touring Pakistan and England apart from India and will play Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa at home during the 2021-23 WTC cycle. The 37-year-old added that the preparations are going well but having more net bowlers in the team would have helped. Taylor further added that ahead of the Test series, he is spending more time facing the spin bowlers in the nets.

"When you're coming to India you want to play as much cricket as you want and can. Preparation so far has been fantastic. [But] it's a little bit different having no net bowlers, you know, facing our [own] bowlers as preparation. It's been key. I have been lining up to face spinners, they bowl a lot of overs. Normally you [also] get 10-15 overs of net bowlers of spin to practice. It is slightly different but it is what it is and it's an interesting challenge both on the field and off it as well," the 37-year-old added. 

Taylor, who have featured in 108 Tests for New Zealand added that spin always plays a major part in sub-continent pitches and India have world-class spinners. He further added that getting through the first 10-20 balls in an innings is going to be crucial for the batsmen.

"Obviously spin plays a major part. The new ball, it can do a bit but it can also be the easiest time to score sometimes. India have world-class spinners and know how to set batters up in these conditions. For us, it's about been able to pick up the lengths as quick as possible and trust the defence.

"When there are a lot of men around the bat, it can be an intimidating place to start your innings but having said that... Getting through those first 10-20 balls is going to be crucial and it's a bit of a cliche, but things do get easier. But no, it's going to a big challenge for us, especially the batting unit," Taylor added. 

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