Foreign teams have always found the conditions in India difficult to handle in Test cricket, as it has a history of assisting spinners. With the first Test starting on Thursday, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is aware of India's form in the longer format of late, but believes his side have the capability to mix it with the best the home team has to offer.
India have been brilliant in their last three Test series, defeating Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, India have played some positive and fearless cricket, which has helped them climb up the ICC rankings table. They are currently the No.2 Test team in the world.
The last time, India played at home was against the mighty South Africans, who were outplayed in all departments of the game. India won the four-match series 3-0, and they will be keen to repeat that performance against New Zealand as well. The conditions during the series favoured the spinners, with Ravichandran Ashwin tormenting the Proteas batsmen, picking up 31 wickets.
Hesson knows his team will be playing in some tough conditions, and wants his team to adapt. New Zealand are accustomed to playing on bouncy tracks, but pitches in India are likely to be slow and low, and the batsmen's ability to play quality sponners will be tested. With a poor record of just two wins in India, New Zealand have a humongous task at hand.
"We saw the conditions in that (South Africa) series, and they were challenging. There is no doubt about that. You have got to prepare for the harshest conditions and see how it goes from there. I think you need to adapt to what you are confronted with. We have got an idea how we think how the surface might play, but it might be quite different. We are capable of adapting," radionz.co.nz quoted Hesson as saying.
"We have won two Test matches in our history here. So we know it is a tough place to come and win, as it is for any touring side. And India are playing good cricket at the moment, but we have got a group of cricketers who will be highly competitive. That's our challenge - to be highly competitive and stay in the game for long periods of time. Then, anything can happen."
New Zealand were aware of the conditions for the Test series before they landed in the sub continent, hence they have also come prepared, bringing in three spinners – Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Mark Craig. The trio needs to play an important role, if the Black Caps are to emerge victorious in the series.