IND v NZ 2021: Winning Test matches in India is one of world cricket’s greatest challenges – NZ coach Gary Stead

India and New Zealand last met in the WTC Final in Tests | Getty Images

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead on Friday (November 5) said that beating India in Indian conditions in Test cricket is one of world cricket’s greatest challenges, ahead of his team’s upcoming tour.

New Zealand is scheduled to travel to India right after the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE to play three T20Is and two Test matches with the series starting on November 17 with a T20I.

Stead told reporters on Friday, “It is one of world cricket’s greatest challenges, going to India and winning Test matches. We’re certainly under no illusions as to how tough that that will be.”

He further added, “India is also in the same situation as us, they’re at the World Cup. They’ve had a long time on the road and I’m not sure what sort of team they’ll put out but we know that they’re going to be strong whoever they put out against us.”

The Kiwi coach feels it will be very important for the tourists to have a clear plan to find the way to succeed on the turning tracks in India on the upcoming tour.

Stead added, “They have quality spinners, they know how to play in the condition so I think one of the things for us will be getting really clear on the way we play, the way we try and score and attack against their bowlers as well. So, we don’t just become sitting ducks if it is a turning wicket.”

It will be the first Test contest between India and New Zealand since the WTC Final in June and the coach said, “It’s always exciting to go to India and play in a Test series. We obviously played them at the World Test Championship and this is the, I guess started the second cycle. It’s always a massive challenge going to India so this is a really important series for us.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand will travel with five spinners, including Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, and Mitchell Santner for the India Tests and Stead mentioned: “We’ve obviously picked a strong spin friendly type team. Five spinners or five people who have the ability to spin the ball.”

Well, New Zealand players will not have enough time to train for the upcoming series in India and it will be a big challenge for the side. The coach said, “Yeah, that’s one of our challenges. They’ve been training still which has been great. Even small bubbles or even just following in, I guess nets and stuff like that.”

He continued, “It’s yeah, it’s tough on them. Hopefully, they’re 10 or so days that they’ll have their before we start. That will give them the chance to get acclimatized appropriately and also they can fall back on the experiences that they’ve had in the past. It’s not going to be completely foreign to them. They’re not going to the subcontinent for the first time.”

On being asked Asked if it is the best chance for New Zealand to beat India given their current form, Stead said: “It’s hard to know until we get there that we actually get to the conditions we know we’ve got one Test in Kanpur and one in Mumbai, they may pose slightly different conditions.”

He signed off by saying, “Sometimes Mumbai can bounce and even seam a little bit at times. But again, until we get there and see what’s in front of us, it’s hard to know. We go into every series and we try and put our plans in place to say this is the way that we were going to try and play cricket.”