The Kanpur track is not the raging turner that South Africa experienced in Nagpur a year ago but New Zealand still decided to go in with three spinners. On the evidence of the first session on Day 1, it is their left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner who will pose the most questions to the Indian batsmen.
Santner has been there before. India were bowled out for 79 at the World Twenty20 earlier this year, with the left-arm spinner picking up 4/11. And even in the first session in Kanpur, India's batsmen kept a wary eye on him. He varied his pace but kept an immaculate length. KL Rahul gave him a whack, slamming him for a six over deep square leg but the Kiwi spinner struck back with the straighter one, just kissing Rahul's edge for NZ's first wicket.
He did go for a few runs but Santler also rapped the pads on more than one occasion and beat the bat by a whisker quite a few times. As the series progresses, he might become the most potent threat to India in this series. After all, remember England's Monty Panesar doing something similar against India in 2012 in a series India lost at home?
As for the rest of the New Zealand bowling attack, they were functional without looking too threatening. Left-arm pacer Neil Wagner bowled with aggression from around the wicket, making the batsmen sway away while Trent Boult only bowled four overs in the session. India looked more comfortable against offie Mark Craig while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi was brought on before lunch but could not make much of an impact.
India 105/1 in 31 overs (Murali Vijay 39 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 34 not out, KL Rahul 32; Mitchell Santner 1/33)