New Zealand coach Gary Stead said he may include three specialist spinners in the playing XI if the conditions so warrant in the first Test against India starting here on Thursday. Stead believes that the two-Test series against India will not have the kind of pitch that England got against Virat Kohli’s team in Ahmedabad.
“You have to find out the reason why teams come here often but don’t win,” Stead told a news conference here. This shows how big the challenge is here.
Stead indicated that Mumbai-born left-arm spinner Aijaz Patel is almost certain to play in the Test match of the series. “Our traditional way of playing with four fast bowlers and a part-time spinner may not be successful here. You can also see three spinners playing in this match. The matter will be decided after inspecting the pitch.
Stead said that the basic principles of Test cricket will remain the same but the approach will have to change depending on the circumstances. He said, ‘If I talk from the point of view of my team, then we have to change the way we play, but it will also be necessary to stick to the principles of Test cricket. We will try to remain competitive for a long time.
Asked if the pitches were like they were during India’s last home Test against England, he would speak to the ground staff about it. He said that he does not think that there is a need to do such a thing as at that time many Test matches were to be played at the same venue.
“Look, no doubt they were challenging conditions, but this time the difference is that we have to play Test matches at two different venues,” he said. England had to play two test matches on the same ground. “We know that the conditions will be very different for us on both the grounds as the pitch in Kanpur is of black soil while in Mumbai it is of red soil,” he said.