New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson on Thursday said his team will rely on its tried and tested patient approach to tackle the Indian pace battery of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma in the Test series starting in Wellington on Friday.
Williamson said it will be “a lot different” to facing Australian speedsters in their own den. New Zealand are still reeling from a 0-3 beating in their last away Test series in Australia where Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc made life miserable for the Black Caps.
Asked how different it will be facing a quality Indian pace attack at home, Williamson replied: “A lot of differences I suppose, the conditions being the first one. India have a world-class pace attack that has performed in all conditions so a really exciting opportunity for our team.”
Williamson said the Kiwis will be going back to their style of patient cricket which has yielded results at home since 2017. “So it is peeling it back. Obviously coming back here from Australia, back into Test cricket, the guys are really looking forward to get into it,” Williamson said.
“It’s taking some learnings from that. But it’s in some ways trying to peel back, (that’s) the style of cricket we play in New Zealand and (we will) connect with that again,” he added.
The Basin Reserve pitch, at least on the first two days, has a lot of juice and Williamson was asked if India’s batting line-up would be vulnerable in these conditions. “I think if you can execute your plans on a surface that’s going to provide some assistance then it’s a challenge for anybody,” he said.
“But we’ve seen here on these surfaces in New Zealand, that there is some assistance early. But the pace and bounce you get can also provide opportunities for scoring. So there’s a balance there and it’s never a given even when the surface is green that’s for sure,” he added.
His opposite number Virat Kohli’s wicket is important but that’s not the sole focus of his team, said the Black Caps skipper.
“Obviously, Virat’s the best or one of in all formats without a doubt. They’re a quality side. They’re leading the Test championships and there’s a reason for it. You certainly don’t focus on one player and I guess that brings us back to the focus on our own team’s approach,” said Williamson.