cricket pitch
(Representational image) The 22 yard playing surface in Kanpur will assist the slower bowlers.Reuters

The first Test match between India and New Zealand in Kanpur is exactly seven days away, and talk about the all-important playing surface has already started. The 22-yard strip at Green Park, as expected, will favour the slower bowlers.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had already opened up about the tough challenge they will face in the spinning Indian tracks, and with Ravichandran Ashwin in great form, they have a tough job at hand.

The pitch in Kanpur will test the NZ batsmen's batting skills and they need to show temperament and spend more time at the crease, and make their starts count, which is not going to be easy. India will be satisfied with the track as they are always a dominant team under such conditions.

Green Park curator Shiv Kumar spoke about the nature of the track, which will be on show next week.

"A spinning track in the series opener will give India the perfect start and the Kiwi batsmen will have to apply themselves to stay at the wicket as it is going to be a slow turner again I am preparing a wicket which will have ample opportunity for batsmen and spinners," Hindustan Times quoted Kumar as saying.

Such tracks should not come as a surprise to New Zealand, who have come for the tour well prepared. They have included three full-time spinners including Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Mark Craig, who will have to bowl huge number of overs in the Test series.

With Sodhi and Santner having performed well in the World T20 earlier in the year in India, they need to get their A class game going in white uniform for the Black Caps. It remains to be seen if New Zealand will play with three spinners. They might take that call after a close inspection of the pitch hours before the game. 

However, New Zealand might not be too pleased with the pitch, which has been prepared for their practice match against Mumbai, which starts in Delhi on Friday. The curators have laid a green track, when the Black Caps might have expected a turning surface to prepare for the Test series ahead.

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