New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner believes the upcoming limited-overs series against India could yield high-scoring games. The left-armer backed his prediction by saying that the smaller ground and wickets will help the teams score big.
This will be India’s first tour of New Zealand since the full-fledged series in 2014-15. But unlike the last tour, the upcoming tour will see the Men in Blue taking on the hosts in ODIs and T20Is only.
Mitchell Santner believes India can do well in New Zealand if they adapt to the conditions quickly. The last time India visited the country, they returned empty-handed. Brendon McCullum & Co. had won the ODIs 4-0 before bagging the Test series 1-0.
“Both teams have changed a lot since then (the 2014 tour). India have performed in England and against (Australia) in conditions similar to New Zealand. It’s (depends on) how quickly they (India) can adapt to those conditions.
“If they can hit the ground running on those home conditions for us, it’s going to make for a very interesting series. It can be a high-scoring series with the nature of grounds and wickets (on offer),” Santner said.
The spinner further said that the Indian batsmen are in form at the moment and went on to insist that they would like the conditions in New Zealand.
“Virat (Kohli) and other Indian batsmen are scoring a lot of runs at the moment and they haven’t been to New Zealand for four years. But they have played all round the country and scored runs everywhere.
“So they will probably like our conditions, where its quite flat, with not a lot of turn. And obviously if there’s not a lot of swing, it (series) can be high-scoring. So the batsmen will like it and hopefully the ball swings for us,” he said.
Mitchell Santner also feels the two teams could take momentum from the series before heading into the 2019 World Cup, which starts in England at the end of May.
“The series will be a good test for both the sides leading into the World Cup and I guess in similar conditions. Both the teams will be looking forward to the competition and to take some momentum into the World Cup,” he said.
India’s tour of New Zealand, meanwhile, will get underway with the ODI series on January 23. After the five-match ODI series, the teams will lock horns in the three-match T20I series, starting February 6.
India’s tour of New Zealand schedule:
1st ODI – January 23, Napier
2nd ODI – January 26, Mount Maunganui
3rd ODI – January 28, Mount Maunganui
4th ODI – January 31, Hamilton
5th ODI – February 3, Wellington
1st T20 – February 6, Wellington
2nd T20 – February 8, Auckland
3rd T20 – February 10, Hamilton