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IND v NZ: Looking forward to the spin challenge in Tests – Santner


New Zealand left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner and his spin colleagues are eagerly waiting to bowl on friendly tracks in the Test series against India.

โ€œHopefully the boys are ready for the first Test in Kanpur. Itโ€™s a quick turnaround again. We have some good spinners, we know spin will play a big part. Itโ€™s about just trying to grind out as much as possible,โ€ Santner said at a virtual press conference after Indiaโ€™s 3-0 series win in the T20I series.

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โ€œWeโ€™ve seen how good Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar Patel can be in these conditions. Weโ€™ve got guys like Ajaz (Patel) and (Willliam) Somerville who are pretty eager to see some spinning wickets.โ€

โ€˜Tough challengeโ€™

Santner is well aware of the tough challenges in India as he was quick to recall New Zealandโ€™s 2016-17 tour when it suffered a 3-0 thrashing in Tests beginning with the Kanpur Test. It later went on to lose the five-match ODI series 3-2.

โ€œIt doesnโ€™t matter what format you come up against India, theyโ€™re a tough challenge to beat. We saw that in 2016.โ€

Santner stood in as captain in the third and final T20 of the series here at Eden Gardens on Sunday. โ€œItโ€™s been a quick turnaround from the World Cup. But we pride ourselves on turning up and play some good cricket against a very good Indian side and win a series.

โ€˜Good in patchesโ€™

โ€œItโ€™s tough to do and they showed once again that itโ€™s a tough challenge to come to India and play a really good side. We were good in patches.โ€

Opting to bat, Rohit Sharma struck 56 off 31 balls, his third successive half-century. He was adjudged man-of-the-series for being the top run-getter. โ€œThe challenge for us was to get wickets at the top and we couldnโ€™t throughout the series. But credit [to them] the way Rohit and K. L. batted at the top.

โ€œWe had our chances, but the conditions changed in every game and dew played a major factor. And then again tonight (Sunday), it was there, but it didnโ€™t get any worse. We were outdone this series but weโ€™re looking forward to the 12 months towards the next World Cup,โ€ he signed off.

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