India's opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithivi Shaw may be inexperienced but has enough talent to make a difference in the upcoming two-Test series, feels senior New Zealand pacer Tim Southee.
With Rohit Sharma ruled out due to hamstring injury and KL Rahul not selected, the onus is on Shaw (2 Tests) and Agarwal (9 Tests) to give India a good start against the likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Matt Henry in the series beginning on Friday (21st February).
"They are missing a couple of guys due to the injury but there are plenty guys who are talented and capable of stepping up when required. They had a good outing in Hamilton. Although, they may be inexperienced but at the same time, they are class players," Southee told PTI during a brief interaction on Wednesday.
An open venue like Basin Reserve with cross breeze blowing across the ground could be a factor and a lot will depend on how quickly India adapt to the conditions.
"Obviously, these are home conditions and it favours us. But there are a number of things that you need to do well in here at the Basin Reserve and India will have to get used to it in the next three days," Southee gave a subtle warning to the visiting team.
However, when it comes to India, they have been the top Test nation for a considerable period time and opposition needs to respect that.
"It's a completely different format. India have played great Test cricket for a long period of time so it should be an evenly contested Test series."
He attributes his long-standing successful ball pairing with Trent Boult to their friendship and knowing each other's skills well enough.
"We have complemented each other for long with the left-arm and right arm combination. We are both capable of swinging the ball and knowing each other's skills for so many years having played a lot of cricket together. We form a good partnership and hopefully we can carry it into the series," he signed off.