Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, said getting the better of India at home was going to be an extremely difficult task, notwithstanding the experience of conditions gained last year.
“We know that at home in particular, they’ll be the strongest team in the world,” said Williamson in Mumbai on Saturday. “There are no illusions that we need to come out and play our best cricket. We saw in the last series here that we were two-all going into the decider which was a fairly good effort, although we knew that perhaps we hadn’t played our best performance in that last game (in Visakhapatnam). It will be nice to come out in this series and do a little bit better.
“People talk a lot about adjusting to the conditions in India, and that’s really important not just when you come to India, but the specific grounds you play at, they are always a little bit different,” added Williamson. “We did that fairly well last time we were here and it would nice to do that better this time. We still did not put out our best performance in that last series, which was a hard-fought series, but we still were striving for that performance that we knew we could put out and hopefully we can show that in this series.”
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“The opening batters for tomorrow are Guptill and Munro,” revealed Williamson. “Two good ball-strikers, exciting top-order players, and they look to play their natural game, which is important. It will be nice to see them get under way tomorrow.
“Tom Latham will bat in the middle order. He spent some good time in the middle in the last couple of warm-up games and will obviously ‘keep,” he went on. “Yes, look we have a relatively new middle order, some guys with injuries, some guys with some good opportunities. Certainly they all deserve their position and it’s exciting. These guys were here on the ‘A’ tour and experienced these conditions for a while coming into the series, which is always good. It is just important that we all look to play to our plan as best we can and we know if we are doing that, then we will contribute to what a good total is.”