Starting off with warm-up game, Kiwis breathe easy

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NEW DELHI: In 2010 and 2012, New Zealand lost three and drew two Tests in India. On both occasions, the Kiwis, before arriving in India, had played at home or in conditions that supported bounce and pace (West Indies and Australia). With no warm-up game, New Zealand hardly got time to adjust to the subcontinent conditions and failed to come to terms with spin.

In 2010, the Kiwis gave away 27 wickets to spinners in three Tests. Two years later, they lost 31 wickets to India spinners in the two-Test series. With Kanpur, the venue of the first Test, rolling out a turner, the Kiwis could face a similar situation. New Zealand have not played in the sub-continent for almost two years and are landing in India after tours of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. But this time, they can breathe easy as they have a three-day warm-up game against Mumbai at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

“There was a bit of grass on the Kotla surface during the WT20 2016 and this is not what we expected before the first Test at Kanpur ,” said New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor .“During the last two tours here, we didn’t have a warm-up game so it’s nice to have one against quality opposition. It’s going to be a hard-fought series in the next seven weeks.” The pitch at the Kotla is fresh and has a thin layer of green. But since the Indian Board emphasises on home advantage, the warm-up game will not present such conditions to the visitors.

“Its part and parcel, the way cricket is being played. Playing on home advantage is not any different from New Zealand. When you guys come there, we leave a bit of grass on the wicket. I guess that is what home advantage is all about. We are expecting the wickets to turn over here and not like the one offered at Kotla for the next three days,” said Taylor.

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