India and inaugural World Test champions New Zealand will square off in a two-Test series beginning on November 25 in Kanpur. It will be a huge challenge for the Kiwis, especially because of the fact that India haven't lost a single series at home in 2012. Ross Taylor admitted to the same and stated that playing India in their own backyard is one of the toughest challenges for any side.
"Definitely looking forward to, definitely going to be a challenge. I think there is no harder assignment than playing India at home or Australia away. They are probably the two toughest challenges in Test cricket at the moment. But as group we are looking forward to that and we know we are the underdogs but we will be looking forward to putting in a good performance," Taylor said on Sunday.
"Any time you play India at home, you will always gonna be the underdogs whether you are world no.1 or not."
The veteran Kiwi batter said tacking Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Axar Patel will be key to New Zealand's success in the Test series. The duo were excellent against England at home earlier this year and after scalping the first Test in Chennai, England didn't really find a way to make any statement in the three games. "I don't want to give my secrets away just here (on being asked what's his plan for Ashwin). I don't know what lineup India decide to go with, Axar Patel played a big role against England," Taylor said in a virtual press conference.
"Now they are going to play three spinners or two spinners, obviously Ashwin will be one of them. They are very good bowlers, especially in these conditions and how we will play them, will play a big part in how the series is gonna go."
He also advised New Zealand batters to be wary of India's pace attack.
"Fast bowling still remains a main element with the new ball and reverse swing. But spin more often plays a big part over here, so we could be naive if we assume only spin will play a key part. We still gonna have to face a quality seam bowling lineup and reverse swing. I think we should also be worried about that but spin is gonna play a big proportion of how we will be going to play the Test," Taylor said.
"You have to put some pressure back on the bowlers. If I get the opportunity, I could bring back the slog sweep shot every now and then."
Taylor feels adapting to the conditions will also play a big role in deciding their fate in the series. "They are resting a couple of players but they are still a formidable side. The way we adapt to these conditions is going to be the key. These conditions are not foreign to us, some of the guys have played many times here before. We will be looking forward to hopefully using those experiences but we know it's gonna be tough."