Kane Williamson acknowledged the critical spin test ahead of his team in the two-Test series, beginning on Thursday (November 25), insisting that his players were preparing well for it.
Due to the hectic schedule, members of the Test squad have been traveling with the T20I side to the venues of the recently played white-ball series as well as getting in practice on match days. Until the eve of the first match in Kanpur, the entire Test unit has spent just two days training together. The spin preparation of Williamson makes him cautious of a straighter delivery.
Speaking of preparing for the spin challenge, Williamson also emphasized the need to be alert to deliveries that are going straighter while others are turning sharply.
"I suppose on some of these surfaces, the condition of the ball - whether it is new or old - is definitely a big factor and I guess one of the challenges is when you see the ball spin in such a big way and then the next one goes straight," Williamson said on the eve of the Test on Wednesday (November 24). "It's about trying to come up with a game plan to accommodate that as well as you can while looking to score.
"Obviously a number of teams have come here in the past and faced similar challenges, so there's the expectation that it'll not be too different and there'll be a large spin component throughout the series. So the guys have been trying to prepare as well as they can and they're looking forward to the challenge," he added.
As a result of the spin, 16 of the 20 wickets to fall in the last Green Park match - in 2016 - were taken by R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
"We know the strength of the Indian spin bowlers. They've been fantastic for a long time. For us it is about looking to come up with different methods and ways to score and try and be effective and build those partnerships. The ways will be slightly different from one another [for each player]. We're trying to prepare as well as we can for the challenges that are coming up," Williamson said.
"The spin factor is going to be there and someone like Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville will be a big part of our bowling attack, particularly in these conditions," Williamson said. Ajaz hasn't played in a competitive red-ball fixture since New Zealand's win over England in Birmingham in June this year, while Somerville's last first-class outing came in the first week of April in the Plunket Shield. But Ajaz nevertheless admitted to being excited to strike up a partnership with Somerville again in conditions that will suit both the spinners.
"We feed off each other quite well. He [Somerville] offers that height and bounce, whereas I offer that low skid and as a left-arm spinner and a right-arm off-spinner, we're both turning it in different ways," Ajaz said in the lead-up to the game. "It's always cool to be playing together. There will be times when he's attacking and other times when I'm attacking and vice versa. We have a good understanding now we've played a few games together, so it's exciting to kind of have the opportunity to go back out there and do it again."
New Zealand skipper believes even his seamers will have a role to play.
"There'll be an important role for us in seam bowling as well over here if there's reverse swing, and trying to come up with some creative ways to take wickets is important as well," he said.